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Workshop to promote agricultural entrepreneurship in Uganda
22 March 2021
From 15-17 March, CINOP organized a workshop with Ugandan agri-entrepreneurs and teachers aimed towards the development of occupational standards for agricultural entrepreneurship. This workshop was organized within the IVEEPA project ‘Inclusive Vocational Education for Entrepreneurship Perspectives in Agriculture’.
CINOP works together with Cordaid, ADRAA Agricultural College, Amelo Technical Institute, Arua Technical Institute, Moyo Technical Institute, and Koboko Technical Institute to prepare vulnerable youth for the initiation of their own business.
In the ‘IVEEPA’ project, access to formal vocational training centers for vulnerable youth and refugees is key. We aim to contribute to youth employment in the West Nile region. The West Nile region is a region that contains many refugees from Congo and South Sudan. This project aims to strengthen the role of vocational training institutions in the West Nile region within key agricultural value chains. This reinforcement is achieved by strengthening the institutes in the availability and quality of training in agricultural entrepreneurship, which should lead to an increase in agricultural knowledge and a greater success in entrepreneurship in the communities (including refugee communities).
Successful agri-entrepreneurs shared their experiences during the three days’ workshop. They explained how they started their businesses and highlighted their successes and failures. Some shared personal stories about their own experiences in exile during the Ugandan war and how NGO’s supported them with basic equipment to start up their own business. They explained how their business enabled them to support their own communities by taking care of educational costs (such as books, uniforms, school fees). They also shared practical business tips amongst each other, such as the best method for storing beans after harvest (e.g. putting red pepper between the beans). The entrepreneurs also mentioned that they have contact with the youth in their community because many of them are already working in their businesses. They were ready to become the entry-point to their communities for the TVET institutes and to support the youth of their communities and the refugee camps in starting up their own agri-business.
The entrepreneurs shared their concern about the physical distance between them and theTVET institutes. Education must always be connected with practice. There shouldn’t be a distance between the practices of an agri-entrepreneur and the skills youth learn in TVET. We ensured that CINOP always takes this in consideration and that is why we asked them to join us and come up with a profile of an entrepreneur
Together, all participants contributed to the occupational standard for an agri-entrepreneur in the West-Nile region that will be the foundation for the development of a short course agri-business.In a next workshop, Design Thinking sessions are organized in which teachers of the 5 institutes co-create this curriculum.
After the workshops, the entrepreneurs mentioned that they enjoyed the meet-up and that they were excited to share their personal stories with us. Furthermore, they considered this workshop as a great opportunity to network and share ideas with other entrepreneurs.
Carmen works as a consultant international cooperation in TVET education. She has experience in sustainable value chain development, ME&L, and knows the current state of affairs in the development sector through her background in international development (AMID programme). She loves to strive for sustainable outcomes and to translate them into opportunities and challenges for education and training in developing countries, with special attention for inclusion of marginalised groups.
Wilco Visscher is an experienced educator in the field of international cooperation. He gained his experience in educationa projects in Europe, Asia and Africa. He enjoys to discuss with those involved and,together, come up with practical solutions for demanding educational challenges. Development of vocational training and specifically internships has his special attention.