MasterCard Foundation second annual Young Africa Works Summit

  • 15th February 2017
  • by secretary

16 and 17 February 2017. Kigali. The MasterCard Foundation is hosting its second annual Young Africa Works Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. This invite-only event will bring together a community of 300 thought leaders from NGOs, government, funders and the private sector committed to developing sustainable youth employment strategies in Africa. It will also directly involve young people to help understand and explore their journeys, including the challenges they face, in securing meaningful economic opportunities.

Stories of youth speakers working in the agricultural sector:

  • Household Waste Fuels, a Climate Smart Solution: Jean Bosco Nzeyimana – Founder, Habona


  • Empowering Young Women in Agriculture: Pilirani Khoza – Founder and Coordinator, Bunda Female Students Organisation (BUFESO) (picture)
  • Technology + Data = Modern Farming: Brian Bosire – Founder, UjuziKilimo

The opening plenary will explore contextual issues surrounding agricultural transformation and will delve into the Summit’s sub-themes – climate-smart agriculture, gender and technology – laying the foundation for two days of stimulating dialogue and debate. This session will be live streamed on CNBC Africa

  • Dr. Segenet Kelemu – Director General, International Centre for Insect Physiology and

    Ecology (icipe);

  • Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda – CEO, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN);
  • Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg – Director, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) (picture)

Barriers restricting youth access to agrifinance include a lack of collateral, savings, low or non-existent credit scores, and a perception that youth will default on their loans. During this plenary session, panelists will explore issues of risk, access and distribution in an effort to unlock agrifinance options for youth at scale.

  • Andrew Youn – Executive Director & Co-founder, One Acre Fund
  • Roy Parizat – Senior Economist, Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank (picture)
  • Frank Altman – President & CEO, Community Reinvestment Fund USA

Within agriculture, off-farm activities will yield the greatest opportunities for youth.

  • Dr. David Tschirley – Professor, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics,

    Michigan State University; 

  • Clarisse Murekatate – Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, CARL Group
  • Dr. Agnes Kalibata – President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); 
  • Grace Wanene – Founder, Youth Agro-Environmental Initiative (picture)
Mechanization or ICT? Agricultural Transformation through Technology

  • Lucy Kioko – Agriculture Product Manager, Agrifin Accelerate, Mercy Corps
  • Jonny Casey – Lead Gender Equality and Technology Innovation, Practical Action;
  • Carol Kakooza – Chief of Party MUIIS, The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA); (picture)
  • Alloysius Attah – Founder, Farmerline
Additionally, the Summit will also act as a platform for the release of The MasterCard Foundation’s Invisible Lives: Understanding Youth Livelihoods in Africa report, detailing the results of a 12-month study of youth employment in Ghana and Uganda.

One of the main goals of the summit is engaging young people in agriculture to ensure their voices are heard in the policy arena. In line with that, The MasterCard Foundation has partnered with YPARD to bring together 49 youth delegates between the age of 18-24 to be part of the summit. Among this delegation is two YPARD members Jabulani Nyegere and Hanna Samuel who were proposed by the YPARD country chapters given their record experiences and accomplishments within the agricultural sector.

On 15 February 2017 YPARD will bring together all youth delegates for a full day workshop to build on their communication skills, networking and confidence in preparation for their participation at the summit. The whole day workshop will delve deeper on topics like networking, communication and how to live tweet in a conference among others.

The mentoring program: Prior to the Summit, YPARD is pairing young people who expressed the need to be mentored with senior delegates attending the summit based on their interests and experience These pairs will have a chance to meet face to face during the pre-Summit workshop and some of the youth members will be selected to join a longer-term mentoring program beyond the Summit.

Stay tuned to the Summit discussions via the hashtag #YAW2017

Read the youth pre-Summit blog series:


About the MasterCard Foundation’s Youth Livelihoods Program
The Youth Livelihoods Program seeks to improve the capacity of young men and women to transition to jobs or create businesses through a holistic approach which combines market-relevant skills training, mentorship, and appropriate financial services. Through our partnerships, our program is supporting innovative models that help young people transition out of poverty and into stable livelihoods. Since 2010, the Foundation has committed US$402 million to 37 multi-year projects across 19 countries in Africa. More than 1.8 million young people have been reached through the Youth Livelihoods program.


Go Far, GoTogether is the podcast from The MasterCard Foundation highlighting the issues they are trying to solve and the partners with whom we work.
Go Far, Go Together provides listeners with the perspectives of people advancing global development theory and practice… authors, business leaders, development professionals, entrepreneurs, students, staff of the Foundation and our partners, all of whom are active in education and learning, financial inclusion, and youth livelihoods.
The primary focus is Africa, but it explores best practices – and smart responses – to development challenges, wherever they may be found.
Go Far, Go Together is hosted by Roger Morier.


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Meredith Lee, MasterCard Foundation
Meredith Lee, Deputy Director of Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation, looks ahead to the Young Africa Works 2017 summit.