The US Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Stuart Symington, has urged youth agripreneurs at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to lead efforts in creating jobs for African youths.
Symington gave this charge when he paid a courtesy visit to the Institute’s Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) in Ibadan to learn about the progress of the Youth-in-Agribusiness initiatives.
In a Press Release made available to AgroNigeria, the diplomat encouraged the youths to work as a team to achieve the common goal of building successful business empires in the future.
According to him, “If you want to succeed in business, you do not only have to be good, but you have to be amazing. As future leaders, do not leave anyone behind. Support each other always because it is easier to pull hundreds and thousands of people as a team into the path of enhancing and securing the economy than doing that alone.”
While advising the agripreneurs, the Ambassador who was accompanied by Benjamin Williams, Political and Economic Officer from the office of the US Consulate General, noted that “One of the greatest challenges people face is that they do not know whom to trust.”
“Youths want to attract investors, customers, and partners, speak passionately about your product or brand, and make the interaction with your customers the most important in your life because words translate into actions.” He said
Symington who underscored the importance of goal setting, however, advised the young agripreneurs to embrace honesty in all their dealings.
In his words “Find out what the rules are, and play by the rules from the very start. Do not cheat for any reason, because if you do, you will face the consequences forever.”
“Before you think of exporting your products to other parts of the world, think of marketing them to your colleagues, classmates, friends, and family. Because if you cannot sell in your territory, it will be difficult for you to sell outside your territory.” He advised
On her part, Interim Head, IITA Youth-in-Agribusiness Office, Evelyn Ohanwusi, who gave an overview and update of IITA’s youth agribusiness initiatives, highlighted the ENABLE-Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program.
Ohanwusi noted that the program’s target of raising $12.5 billion and investing in about 32 African countries can easily be achieved by having the right partners and investors who believe in the youths taking control of the future through their involvement in agriculture.
IITA Director General Nteranya Sanginga, Deputy Director General for Partnerships for Delivery, Kenton Dashiell, key IITA staff, IYA members, and delegates of the Ivorian government also graced the event.
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