The role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in strengthening and promoting agricultural enterprises has never been greater. Furthermore, governments, private sector, multi-lateral and non-governmental organisations (NGO), and especially young people, are increasingly viewing the intersection of ICTs and the agriculture sector as a prime means of tackling the global youth unemployment challenge by enabling enterprise.
The opportunity for youth employment in a merged ICT and agricultural sector represents a potential boon for enterprising young people in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Agriculture is so important in the African continent’s evolving income, population and urbanisation dynamics that, in 2003, governments endorsed the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security.
The agreement aimed to slash the continent’s food import bill of nearly US$35 billion by earmarking 10% of public spending towards agriculture (Africa Progress Panel, 2014).
With increasing population, food security has become a critical issue, especially in Africa where the population will double, from the current estimate of about 1.2 billion, to 2.4 billion by 2050. Therefore, agricultural productivity needs to be strengthened radically to increase food availability. ICTs, which are often spearheaded by youth (Rahman and Fong, 2016), can contribute to this.
Through ICTs, youth are thus well positioned to help advance agricultural transformation, while improving their own livelihoods. Clearly, they also need adequate support in this process.