Nelly Bassily | September 19, 2011
Robert Chilunga has some sage advice for young people starting out: look around and identify an activity or business that no one else is doing. Then do some research and find an approach that works. With only a little training and his own determination, this is how Robert succeeded. With the cost of living rising these days, it is becoming more difficult for rural youth in Africa to find jobs and start up businesses. But with the spread of the internet, information is becoming easier to access. Even in rural areas, young people can now find information to help them make decisions and plans.
Dr. Namanga Ngongi is president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. He recently wrote a piece entitled “Africa’s agriculture depends on youths.” Read it here: http://allafrica.com/stories/201108012504.html.
At the following link, you can read a backgrounder on youth and agriculture in Africa. It has links to many other resources: http://www.future-agricultures.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=1545&Itemid=522.
Here is another recent example of a successful young entrepreneur, this time in Kenya: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Young+entrepreneur+grows+his+money+on+trees+/-/539444/1236284/-/6a4cixz/-/index.html
Here you can find some stories related to entrepreneurship, previously published in Farm Radio Weekly: Zimbabwe: Renewed interest in traditional food creates opportunities for entrepreneurs and farmers (FRW 121, July 2010) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/07/26/3-zimbabwe-renewed-interest-in-traditional-food-creates-opportunities-for-entrepreneurs-and-farmers-ips/
Congo: Milk from pumpkin seeds (FRW 120, July 2010) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/07/19/2-congo-milk-from-pumpkin-seeds-spore-syfia-la-semaine-africaine/
And you can revisit three stories on youth and farming in our recent special issue for International Youth Day: http://weekly.farmradio.org/topic/issue-167/
Farm Radio International has produced a number of scripts on small-scale enterprise. You can browse our archive here: http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/enterprise.asp
This profile of Mr. Chilunga may inspire you to feature a successful farmer from your area. Use your contacts to identify a farmer who has succeeded against all odds, or started a successful business. The local agricultural extension agent may be able to help you locate a farmer who has been trying new techniques, or who would make an interesting interviewee for a profile. Ask the farmer how she or he identified the opportunity, the steps taken, and the challenges faced along the way.