Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Opportunities for Youths in Africa in Web 2.0 and Social Media

Africa's Public Procurement & Entrepreneurship Research Initiative - APPERI

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Innovation and Entrepreneurship : Opportunities for Youths in Africa in Web 2.0 and Social Media

Zvavanyange Raymond Erick1

Last month during March 7-11, 2011, I participated in a youth training and exchange workshop in Ghana on Web 2.0 and social media for Development in Agriculture and Rural Development. The training was sponsored by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development (CTA) (www.cta.int)  based in the Netherlands and facilitated by Institute for Scientific and Technological Information (CSIR-INSTI) of Ghana. Through its Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in Information Society (ARDYIS) project, CTA brought together more than 18 youths from English and French speaking countries in Africa, all united by the same passion of improving agriculture through the use of  information communication technologies (ICTs). Additional resources on Web 2.0 and social media for development such as  the Information Management Kit (IMARK)

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Food sovereignty: a contested concept

zimbabweland

Emerging out of two major conferences and with a background reading list of more than 90 papers, a special issue of the Journal of Peasant Studies has just emerged on ‘critical perspectives on food sovereignty’. This is free to view for a limited period (here:  http://www.tandfonline.com/r/fjps-41-6 – click to articles via this link if you don’t have a subscription), and contains a number of important papers and commentaries by both academics and activists, and many hybrids. It is an important moment, both for the food sovereignty movement and for the debate around it. For far too long there has been an absence of sustained critical and engaged debate about the meanings and implications of food sovereignty. These papers discuss, among other things, the origins of the concept, its connection to other food justice movements, its relation to rights discourses, the roles of markets and states and the challenges of…

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Recognising farmer innovation: the launch of the Phiri award

zimbabweland

On October 24th at Barraza Pavilion in Tynwald in Harare, the Phiri award for farm and food innovators will be launched.

phiri

The award is named for Zephaniah Phiri, the renowned water harvester and ecological farmer from Zvishavane district, who is a long-time friend and inspiration to me. His innovations in wetland (vlei) farming over a fifty year period earned him first arrest and then national and international recognition. It’s hoped that the Phiri Award for Farm and Food Innovators will open a new chapter in advancing indigenous innovation in Zimbabwe.

Just as Mr. Phiri discovered new ways to produce food abundantly and sustainably through detailed study and active management of the soils and hydrology of his land, so too are other dedicated Zimbabwean farmers making quiet breakthroughs that advance food sovereignty in their communities.

Just as Mr. Phiri shared his innovations with thousands of visitors from across the…

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Reflections from Mai Mano: Focus On That Which Matters

Education USA Zimbabwe

Flower in focus

Photo by Kudakwashe Bhejana, St John’s College, Santa Fe

In Zimbabwe the jacarandas are blooming, better known as “exam trees,” marking the start of O and A level season by blanketing the streets with their purple blossoms. And so it’s also the advent of application season, with students agonizing over every word of their college applications, trying to find a magical formula for “getting in.”

My inbox is quickly drowning with student emails – questions about which activities to include on a Common App, about whether or not to let the admissions officer know they were sick before national exams or if their L6 best science student award is significant enough to write as an honor. And then there are the essays.  My inbox droops under the weight of drafts and drafts of essays, just waiting for the Mai Mano stamp of approval before they are uploaded and submitted – Is my…

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CSA and the Youth: Understanding climate resilient practices

CSA Youth Network

In recent years much attention has been given to the changing climates and the impact it has on the environment, hence the creation of different measurements of mitigation and adaptation. While it is evident that all aspects of our lives are affected by environmental threats, there is one that bears major impacts and importance because our food security and world’s livelihood depend on it: agriculture.

Today, agriculture faces three challenges:

1) Ensuring food security through increased productivity and income

2) Adapting to climate change

3) Contributing to climate change mitigation.

A Climate-smart mentality for a sustainable and resilient agriculture

According to the FAO’s website, CSA is “agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes greenhouse gases (mitigation), and enhances achievement of national food security and development goal” (1).

In 2010 the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched the concept, promoting it as an approach to develop technical, policy and investment conditions to achieve…

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