ENABLE TAAT in the DRC: Empowering Youth through Urban Farming

In 2022, the African Development Bank (AFDB) launched the “Creating Sustainable Youth MSMEs through Urban Farming” (SYMUF) initiative to tackle unemployment and enhance the livelihoods of youth and young farmers in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Uganda. This initiative aims to engage young people in agribusiness, equipping them with the technical skills necessary for running profitable and sustainable enterprises. In the DRC, the AFDB has partnered with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA-Bukavu) to implement the project, leveraging the Empowering Novel Agri-Business Led Employment (ENABLE) Youth Program.

SYMUF engages young people in agribusiness and provides them with essential technical skills. Training includes climate-smart agricultural practices, technological advances, market and financial linkages, and professional mentorship. Participants also receive training in developing viable business plans and the skills required to establish and manage micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in agriculture. The initiative aims to create employment opportunities and empower young entrepreneurs to build resilient and thriving agribusinesses, promoting economic growth and sustainability in the participating countries.

The SYMUF initiative focuses on several key value chains to maximize impact and sustainability, including value addition, poultry production, vegetable production, aquaculture, pig farming, and apiculture. In the DRC, the program targets 120 unemployed young graduates aged 18-35, with an equal representation of males and females. Additionally, 120 other young people are directly employed as farm workers and assistants, and 600 youth are indirectly employed through employment multipliers. The program also benefits over 6000 indirect participants.

In its first year, the SYMUF initiative has already made significant strides in the DRC, employing 55 unemployed graduate youth aged 18-35. In the second year, 90 unemployed youth graduates are expected to participate in the training. The gender participation in the first year was approximately 68% male and 32% female, with efforts to achieve more balanced participation in subsequent years.

Through the SYMUF initiative, the AFDB and its partners are not only creating employment opportunities for young people in the DRC but also empowering them to build resilient and thriving agribusinesses. By providing essential training and support, the program promotes economic growth and sustainability, contributing to the broader development goals of the participating countries. As more youth become involved and the initiative continues to expand, the potential for positive change in the agricultural sector and beyond is substantial.

More Congo DR Stories