The World Food Prize Foundation has partnered with the newly launched World Hunger Fighters Foundation to provide year-long fellowships for young African agribusiness innovators and entrepreneurs.
The annual Borlaug-Adesina Fellowships will be awarded to young Africans to develop new technologies, champion public policy, and develop viable businesses in the field of agriculture. They will gain experience in international agriculture research centres, including food and agribusiness companies.
Felix Tshisekedi, the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a guest speaker at the launch of the foundation in Des Moines, Iowa, said: “Agriculture can be the source of peace in Africa. It can create jobs and act as a stabilising factor in countries witnessing conflict. Agriculture is helping to disarm former combatants in my country, for instance.”
During a panel discussion moderated by the president of the World Food Prize Foundation, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo described the hunger fighters initiative as critical to Africa’s food security.
“The problem of youth unemployment, criminality, and many other related problems will be solved substantially if we take agribusiness, food security, and social security altogether. One of the feedbacks from this year’s World Food Prize event is that agriculture should not be taken as a development affair, but rather as a business.”
President Akinwumi Adesina, who is the patron of the World Hunger Fighters Foundation, said: “When I won the World Food Prize in 2017 and the Sunhak Peace Prize in 2019, I pledged the prize monies and a few matching donations totalling $1.1 million to the creation of the World Hunger Fighters Foundation. This young crop of hunger fighters and agripreneurs will pick up the baton and in turn, do great things across the world.”
Of 1,300 applications, 10 outstanding African youth have been selected for the 2019 Borlaug-Adesina Fellowship.
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