Zambian youth in the Western Province challenged the status quo and culture of Agri-business. On November 29, 2023, more than 1,200 youths from 12 secondary schools, nine civil society organizations, media, church, and the government gathered for a grassroots youth-led rally themed “Shifting Mindsets on Agriculture for Youth”. The goal was to increase their engagement in Agribusiness and fight it’s inherent corruption.
Currently, Zambian’s youth represent 80 Percent of the country’s population under the age of 40, with an unemployment rate at 17.4%. The youth are not avid actors in the fight against corruption. Responding to this, the ZLA Foundation collaborated with local stakeholders to address the unemployment challenge by increasing awareness of economic opportunities and being a catalyst for the youth to engage in the fight against corruption. The rally was an intersection of agribusiness, youth and corruption.
The “Shifting Mindsets on Agriculture for Youth” rally presented a dynamic agenda encompassing crucial agriculture-related topics. Opened by Mongu District Commissioner, Mr. Imasiku Morgan Akabeswa, participants benefitted from learning about Global and African perspectives on agriculture and food, and increased their knowledge of the industry’s current landscape. Dr. Freda Mwamba Brazle shed light on career opportunities within the agribusiness sector, provided valuable insights for pursuing professions in this field. Mr. Anthony Chanka, Mr. Henry Malambo and Ms. Chikembea Kuyanda participated in a session focused on critical success factors in agriculture that was aimed to equip attendees with the necessary information to win in the industry. Additionally, the event addressed the significant issue of corruption in agriculture, offering valuable insights into reporting mechanisms and accountability of law enforcement agencies. Finally, attendees heard inspiring stories of youth success in agriculture from Mr. Pumulo Muyyunda, Ms. Anna Siywa which provided a motivational and informative element to the agenda.
With the agricultural value chain in mind, the Litunga King of BarotseLand endorsed the initiative and gave audience to the ZLA Leadership team. Additionally, collaborative partnerships were formed with The African Seed, Nostalgia Solutions, ABSA Bank and others to support the youths in this initiative.
ZLA serves as a bridge, fostering cohesiveness, and responsibility. The foundation’s strategic approach involves diaspora and youth engagement. As a visionary non-profit organization based in Atlanta, ZLA commits to “shifting mindsets” to create lasting impact, fostering a future generation of ethical leaders while addressing challenges that hinder the sector’s transparency and consistency.