African Youth Employment Initiatives - AYEI
African Youth Employment Initiatives - AYEI
Frequently Asked Questions
A:AYEI stands for African Youth Employment Initiatives. AYEI is a youth-led organization found to mobilize, organize and empower the youth of Africa to embark on agricultural activities and promote farming as a form of employment and as revenue generating activities to end poverty among the youth while participating in the fight against hunger.

Q: Is AYEI a registered organization?
A: AYEI is a recognized organization, registered as a nongovernmental organization in the Republic of Ghana by the Department of Social Welfare with registration no DSW/7282. It is registered by the Registrar General Department (RGD) with the following registration number: CG074742016

Q: In which other countries do you have representations?
A: AYEI has its registered Head Quarters in the Republic of Ghana with representation in the following countries: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, DR Congo, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, Nigeria, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Cameroon, Liberia, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire and Central Africa Republic

Q: What is AYEI main mission?
A: AYEI seeks to empower African youth through sustainable agriculture as means of job creation, alleviating hunger, poverty and improving the economies of member countries as well as achieving sustainable development goals.
AYEI seeks to mobilize, organize and engage youth’s skills, talents and ideas in employment creation activities/ventures for sustainable development by nurturing agriculture enterprises started by the youth.

Q: What is the main objectives of your organization?
A: AYEI intends to build a solid and united organization to support young emerging agri-entrepreneurs to create employment in agriculture, eradicate hunger and participate in the economic development of their countries. AYEI is to advocate for mindset change among the youth in regards to farming and make it attractive, rewarding and creative for their good and the good of the continent. AYEI is to create avenue of technology and knowledge transfer in the sphere of farming where the youth share experiences, benefits and risks.

Q: What makes AYEI different?
A: AYEI was founded based on research made by both academicians and scholars whose study showed that African youth, the majority of whom are jobless could be helped to come out of this situation if they are made to consider agriculture as an alternative and if farming is made easier and attractive to them. AYEI has been designed to last and its sustainability policy makes it unique. AYEI is governed by a team of dedicated and selfless professionals bringing together their skills, experiences and talents to make it succeed. Backed up by today’s information communication technology, AYEI tackles the very problem Africa suffers and offer adequate solutions. AYEI takes one step at a time and brings means-tested solutions to a common ill capable of resolving many other societal issues African youth is facing.

Q: What is the main areas of operation of the organization? Do you have specific project you champion in Africa
A: AYEI promotes the idea of demonstration farms seen as learning hubs for rural smallholder farmers to impart in them knowledge in modern agricultural practices and other relevant technology in farming that can help them solves issues they face in their activities. This demonstration farms become a school for farmers where they acquire skills and knowledge to make farming more sustainable, rewarding and profitable. With a blend of new technology in farming, this demonstration farms focus on the production of organic produces needed for international and local markets. It solves issues related to crop irrigation in rural areas, post-harvest lost, marketing and products’ commercialization.

Q: Does AYEI do any other activity apart of farming?
A: Yes, AYEI has so many activities such us, capacity building for the youth who would like to start farming activities. AYEI organizes youth day celebrations where the youth are brought together to celebrate, inspire and motivate each other. AYEI organizes fellowships, seminars, workshops to empower its members in various ways. AYEI organizes annual award ceremonies to the best performing individuals or groups to motivate others, finally, AYEI embarks on campaign and advocacy rallies to educate and sensitize the youth both physically and on social media

Q: How do I apply to become member of AYEI?
A: Membership can be by referral to the country coordinators or by sending an application through the website or by contacting the offices of AYEI in all country members.

Q: How can I contribute to the work of AYEI?
A: You can come in as an ordinary member, as a partner, as an associate or as a mentor and your contribution is welcome when it is in the line with the organization’s vision and mission. Any activity making the organization achieve its objectives is welcome from any person who wants to become a member. For further inquiry about membership, kindly contact the office of the organization for more information

Q: Who are the members of AYEI?
A: Membership is open to all African youth between the ages of 18 and 40 years old regardless of race, color, tribe or nation, and upon approval by the Individual country’s executive committee. AYEI’s doors are open to any person who has something to offer for a mutual benefit. AYEI’s membership is in diverse levels and layers where one can be a temporal or permanent member. The membership’s maintenance is determined by one’s level of active participation in the activities of the AYEI. Most members are agri-entrepreneurs but one can join AYEI regardless his or her educational background if the person is motivated to advance and champion the organization’s mission.

Q: What are the requirements for membership?
A: There is no specific requirement to be a member. However, we oblige that our members have a real commitment to advance the cause the organization was made for. The individual should be self motivated to adhere to the organizations’ precepts, acquire membership status and comply with our ethical code. To be on administrative level, an appropriate application is made and one must meet set requirements when vacancies are opened

Q: Can I partner with AYEI?
A: Yes, AYEI accepts partners with other organizations running the same services as AYEI’s or whose services can be utilized by AYEI to achieve its objectives. Partners are welcome in many ways and AYEI has open doors to anyone capable of advancing the cause it was created to champion.

Q: What roles do partners play?
A: Partners have many roles to play depending on their services. They may partner to offer technical, administrative or financial support to the organization’s activities. They can partner in the promotion of the organization or in offering all kinds of services ranging from capacity building of members, helping the organization to achieve its objectives as agreed between the organizations and its cherished partners by signing the Memorandum of understanding.
Other partners are temporally contracted during projects executions and mostly are those whose contributions can make projects executions successful. They are mostly research and education tertiary institutions, governmental institutions, businesses and social enterprises whose services interest AYEI.

Q: Who are the beneficiaries of the organization?
A: Are beneficiaries all members involved in AYEI activities in various teams in countries and who have been selected and accepted to embark on farming activities or running other specific services. Are beneficiaries all members who are involved in the organization’s (agricultural) activities with valid membership. These beneficiaries are mostly smallholder farmers in rural areas, the youth who are or want to launch farming activities.

Q: Does AYEI support individual initiatives?
A: No, AYEI can only support a team of young people who have come together to design a project that would impact the lives of each and every one in the team. AYEI’s activities are geared towards employment and it is the organizational goal to reach out as many people as possible and not an individual. However, we can support individuals to help many others in specified terms and conditions. Generally, with our agricultural model, we train teams of farms and we mostly deal with registered and selected farmers.

Q: Who is a country coordinator?
A: A country coordinator is the delegate of the organization in the country and legally represents the organization and its interest in the country. He or she is the implementer of AYEI activities and coordinates all activities of the organization together with his or her team in the country.

Q: What are the sources of finance for the organization?
A: AYEI draws its finances in various fundraising activities, from donors, supporters, from donations, from other organizations, members’ contributions and in the organization’s social enterprises running.

Q: Does AYEI organize programs other than farmers’ training?
A: Absolutely. AYEI organizes an AYEI Youth Day which is a day set aside for its members to gather, celebrate their uniqueness and foster unity and cohesion among themselves. It is a time of socialization and a come-together-party where they share views and aspirations, support each other. It is day set a part to invite donors and supports to witness good work being done by the youth so as to draw the attention of the other youth who may like to join the movement. It is also a fundraising day where donors are reached out in various ways. Awards are given to well performing individuals so as to set examples to be emulated.

Q: Does AYEI have other youth programs?
A: Yes, AYEI organizes fellowships which are events gathering selected youth on different basis who in most cases come together for a short-lived training and capacity building sessions to enhance their performances at their various countries. We have regional fellowships organized in West Africa, East and central Africa and Southern Africa.

Q: What is the long term vision of the organization?
A: AYEI aspires to form a strong wide network of emerging agri-entrepreneurs on the continent that will help nations do away with youth unemployment. It is the organization’s view that this can eventually solve many other societal issues such as security problems. AYEI intends to revolutionize agriculture among the youth and change its image to attract young people to see it as a business worth to invest into.

Q: What is the prime objective of the organization to be reached in next 5 years?
A: AYEI wishes to establish self-sustainable demonstration farms to serve as farmers’ schools, center for knowledge and skills transfer, learning hubs and center for agricultural researches.

Q: What are the major challenges AYEI faces in its activities? How do you plan to overcome them?
A: As any other nascent African initiative involving the youth, funds and support take time and governments’ failure to assist such initiative makes it difficult for the organizations to take off. AYEI’s administration is too decentralized in many countries and faces challenges related to distance between administrators. AYEI has put in places mechanisms to ensure continuity in its income flow from various sources: well organized fundraising activities, social enterprises run to generate income, non-reliance to external funds to start activities. Lack of funds from donors may not hinder our activities. The information communication technology has made it possible to run the organization even at a long distance and issues of easy communications are well handled by our experiences IT personnel working around the clock to ensure smooth running of the institution.

Q: Have you encountered any major challenges so far and how did you overcome them?
A: No, we have not come across any serious hindrances so far and things are going well as planned and what seem to be challenges are normal issues such organization goes through and we have been always on track.

ON DEMONSTRATION FARMS

DEMONSTRATION FARMS: AYEI AGRICULTURAL MODEL FOR JOBS’ CREATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Q: Does AYEI have an agricultural model is suggesting as a replicable and sustainable project?
A: Yes, AYEI is championing the cause of demonstrations farms in Africa

Q: What is a demonstration farm?
A: They are farms established several locations to showcase new varieties or improved plants and farming techniques to serve as model that can be replicated by farmers in their own farms. It is designed to motivate the people for adoption of a new practice by showing its distinctly superior result. It is a practical method of teaching designed to show by example the real application of an established fact on certain selected varieties, breeds, techniques.
While serving as a school for farmers, it generates income that can sustain its operations as these produces are commercialized. Farmers are trained on various farming practices and can get on field training, supervision, coaching… to adapt these learnt methods in their own farms. It uses a blend of technology and innovation to make farming more attractive to young ones and rewarding to those already farming.

Q: What type of demonstration farms does AYEI implements?
A: Our demonstration farms offer 4 main services:
1. A learning Hub and training center for subscribed farmers
2. A Crop Research Center where different varieties and breeds are tested and developed
3. A Center for multiplication and distribution of seeds and seedlings and farming inputs.
4. A sample of Scientific application of farming inputs and technologies

Q: What problems does this model solve for smaller holder farmers and your trainees?
A: Among many solutions our approach brings, farmers are confronted with issues related to farming inputs, soil management, lack of technical assistance, irrigation issues, storage and preservation of produces, markets and marketing dilemma, access to complementary services and our model tackles all this to make farming easy, productive and enhance not only the quality but also the quantity.

Q: Why does a demonstration farm matter to you?
A: We advance this model for many reasons and the outstanding ones are: Creation of employment for our trainees the majority of whom are the youth out of jobs. Through this model, offer sustainable solutions to issues related to employment among the young people. We demystify the image of farming among the youth. In our farms, we champion organic produces and we provide heathy products for families while contributing to the economic development of our countries as food import will reduce drastically.

Q: what are the key services that add value to farming for smallholder farmers that you deal with?
A: We introduce to farmers new techniques and technologies that solve several challenges they normally face in their activities. We introduce our newly developed irrigation techniques that keep them in business throughout the year: Water harvesting ponds installations for crop irrigation is one of these. The Solar energy empowered water supply for various usage and other cost effective agricultural practices such as composting methods for organic fertilizers and other soil management techniques.

Q: On what are the farmers introduced to in your demonstration farms?
A: Our demonstration farms, as farmers’ school we combine crop and animal farming with different varieties depending on the location of the farm and the needs of farmers in that particular environment. They varieties of high improved quality and high breeds that we introduce to farmers for more yields.

Q: Who do you think is your agricultural model has as impact in the lives of farmers? What is going to change and what can be the real economic and social impact of the projects you suggest in your countries?
A: The impact of our project are both Economic and social. This boots the quality and quantity of agricultural products as we train farmers on continuous basis, by providing marketing opportunities to farmers currently relying on local markets, this increases their income flow and tends to increase production over time. While we let them produce what we shall market and sell for them, this will factually add value to their farming activities. Socially, Rural-urban migration of the youth has been a real social problem in our area of operations and involving the youth into productive farming activities will reduce this movement of young people leaving their villages to conglomerate in cities where they at times get involved into hazardous activities and social vices. The employment of these young people will significantly have positive effect not only on their economic life but health situations as they may now start consuming healthy meals (such as vegetables and other organic products).

Q: Apart of farmers who are your primary beneficiaries who is benefiting from this project?
A: Not only our farmers benefit from this project. It has a long production chain will a whole range of complementary services offered by other social enterprises and businesses. For this farmers, they will be assisted in marketing and selling their products by our online and digital tools in development by technical partners, software developers. They will be helped to access information on market prices and be linked to possible buyers via our services. For nations, this is a system change oriented project geared towards employment and empowerment of poor citizens. Better than any other project, farmers are trained to be owners of the project not just beneficiaries and trained individuals will be trainers on their own to make impactful their activities and guarantee its sustainability.

Q: How is your project a business opportunity to non-farmers?
A: The Project has a long production chain whose parts gain in the long run for either services provided or products made. Our technical partner’s offers quality, quantifiable and payable services to make the project yields so much that out of this the farmer can have enough for his utilized labor. Products are commercialized by well-designed where everyone get what is due to him/her in accordance with inputs brought on board. Non-farmers entrepreneurs offering services that help farmers gain markets and this can also inspire more business set ups

Q: After the training of farmers, after they have produced, what next?
A: Unlike other projects, our model is a self-sustainable program that has post-project services to the farmers.
a. Storage of produced crops
b. Distribution of agricultural inputs
c. Marketing of products by our online services
d. Linking Buyers to farmers and farmers to potential customers
e. Export services for products on behalf of farmers and many others that are handled as they come.