“Youth Agri Champions – make young African farmers be heard” is a series of three Peer2Peer webinars that took place in Summer 2022. This webinar series brought together grassroots voices from the world of smallholder farming and agricultural entrepreneurship within Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Zambia.
The selected sixteen champions shared their on-the-ground experience regarding climate change adaptation practices. Based on these discussions the Youth Agri Champions have developed climate demands to be presented at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022.
The impact of climate policy and financing initiatives ultimately affects those most vulnerable and at risk from the threats of climate change – specifically smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is crucial that their voices are represented and heard on the political stage, where the negotiations take place to determine climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.
The demand paper will be launched at COP27 official side event. Learn more about the event here.
The webinar series is hosted and created by the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, under the framework of the Elevating Agricultural Adaptation program, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Youth Agri Champions Webinar Series kicked off on July 28th, with 16 smallholder farmers and agripreneurs from Kenya, Nigera, Rwanda, and Zambia. After a presentation from the Elevating Agricultural Adaption Program Manager, Angela Reithuber, on the BKMC’s work on supporting smallholder farmers in agricultural adaptation to climate change, the Youth Agri Champions were joined by, Elizabeth Nsimadala, the Director of Women Affairs at the Pan-African Farmers Organization and the President of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation. As a particular highlight for the participants, Nsimadala gave an inspiring speech filled with plenty of tips and motivation. She addressed the need for cooperation and enthusiasm in the drive for agricultural adaptation to climate change and sustainable agriculture.
The second workshop gave the Youth Agri Champions a chance to consolidate their ideas and demands. In between the first and the second workshop, the Youth Agri Champions continued to work virtually in their working groups, social risk management, funding/finance, and training/capacity building, where they built upon the ideas that came up in Workshop 1. our expert guest, Denis Kabiito, the CEO and Founder of the Young Farmers’ Federation of Uganda, shared his knowledge and experience with the participants. He touched upon the challenges facing women farmers and encouraged smallholder farmers and the agripreneurs supporting them to overcome the obstacles posed by climate change and various other factors.
After a month of working together, the efforts of the Youth Agri Champions came to a culmination in the final workshop of the Youth Agri Champions Peer2Peer Webinar Series. Coming together for the last time in this series, the participants presented their demand paper and reflected on the past few weeks and what is still to come. Opening the workshop this week was the BKMC’s Co-chair, Dr. Heinz Fischer, who praised the Youth Agri Champions for their ‘ambition, dedication, and enthusiasm for fighting climate change. After weeks of learning from each other’s diverse experiences and hard work in building up their demands, the final demand paper from the Youth Agri-Champions is now ready to help Ban Ki-moon and the BKMC team advocate for agricultural adaptation to climate change at COP27 and beyond.