Young people should have a say in the things that affect their future. On 27 March 2017, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development invited 30 young Africans from 14 countries to the Deutsche Welle (Germany’s public international broadcaster) in Bonn. Young farmers, entrepreneurs and representatives from farmer’s associations are campaigning for strengthening rural areas in their home countries. They presented their ideas and successful projects for more jobs and rural areas worth living in, to approximately 100 guests and debated with representatives of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the German-African Business Association. “It is particularly about strengthening and encouraging woman”, stressed Halatou Dem. As the Chief Executive of Danaya Céréales SARL, she is creating jobs for women in her region. Her family run company specialises in grain processing - the Malian grain, Fonio. Nana Amponsah, founder of the African Women in Agribusiness Network, is also campaigning in various ways to strengthen the position of women in agriculture: “Agriculture must be understood as agribusiness. In addition to education and financing opportunities, access to markets is also vital.”
Also discussed was the improvement of infrastructure, modernisation of production, good governance and foreign investment. “For Africa’s youth to have a future in Africa, they need fair opportunities and real prospects - in rural areas above all. It is important to listen to them. And to support them with appropriate framework conditions”, said Dr Stefan Schmitz, representative for the special initiative, “EINEWELT ohne Hunger” (A World without Hunger), at the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The event served as a prelude and build-up to the youth dialogue, “Rural Future Lab” and the G20 conference, “EINEWELT ohne Hunger ist möglich. Die Zukunft des ländlichen Raums” (A World without Hunger is Possible. The Future of Rural Areas), on 24-28 April 2017 in Berlin. In addition to 30 Africans, approximately 90 young adults from the rural parts of Germany as well as volunteers from Africa and the G20 States will participate in the “weltwärts” (out into the world) programme. The group visits innovative businesses in the rural parts of Brandenburg, discusses differences and similarities between the challenges in the respective home countries and develops ideas for strengthening rural areas. The young adults are presenting the core messages on 27 April 2017 at the G20 conference to the Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr Gerd Müller.