North-South and South-South collective actions: Where is the place of youth?

There is no shortage of examples of successful cross-hemisphere research collaboration – but are we including youth in the picture? Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT)

A group of 5 panelists from Uganda, Brazil, Senegal and Europe presented today, on Day 1 of the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development, their experiences of collaborations between North-South countries and South-South countries (referring to research exchanges between the different hemispheres). But though the examples given were brilliant, the audience left unsatisfied.

The need to address issues like youth inclusion or land access came up, especially through North-South and South-South partnerships and in the GCARD2 context.

The whole session was proposed to share experiences that have helped promote inter-regional learning and capacities through mobilizing and strengthening innovative networks to enhance their impact. While there are numerous examples of north-south collaborative action, agricultural research for development boasts relatively little formal South-South cooperation. Most collaboration in which Southern countries participate is research funded by Northern countries. There is thus ample opportunity for national capacities to be strengthened in Southern countries to promote agricultural research and advancement.

Despite the fact that the platforms showed examples of very successful experiences, a wind of disappointment invaded the Rio de Janeiro’s Room in the Conrad Hotel, where the conference is being held. Crucial questions were asked, the first one coming from one of the GCARD2 Social Reporters: “What about youth inclusion in these kind of platforms?”

The mentioned experiences were quite innovative and were evidence of the key role that youth could play if given the chance. Among the audience we found a young professional participating to one of the presented projects that described her role and experiences. Through this encouraging testimonial we hope that YPARD coordinator Courtney Paisley’s concern will be appeased.

“Knowledge of youth issues is growing,” she says. “I hope they will listen.”

Blogpost by Myriam Pérez Diaz, one of the GCARD2 social reporters.


4 thoughts on “North-South and South-South collective actions: Where is the place of youth?

  1. very true. i had to ask the question so we are taken on board! lets give a youth voice from now at GCARD2 and beyond. we cant afford to zip our mouth! 🙂

  2. That is right! Youth should be given a chance and this is gradually being recognized, though much more still needs to be done. FARA-coordinated programmes/initiatives such as YPARD-Africa, UniBRAIN, Africa-Brazil, PAEPARD, RAILS, etc, deliberately involve youth in all its activities.

  3. Youth are the leaders of tomorrow..They are the one who will have the future role of sustaining Agriculture at a regional and global level.. The present generation of active stakeholders in Agriculture should hear the voice of youth! Rightly pin-pointed out.

  4. well said Msekiwa, continue to keep your mouth open! in the future of PAEPARD we must factor in the role of youth and address the gender dimension as said by Monika.

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