Youth Leadership Program in Belt and Road / South-South Agricultural Cooperation Launched in Beijing

January 30, 2019
Nurturing Youth Leadership in Africa Beijing – Agricultural development is the key driver for enhanced food security and poverty alleviation. During the past four decades of reform and opening up, China has accumulated rich experience in promoting agriculture and rural development. These experiences can be shared among more developing countries in Africa, as well as with countries benefiting from China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road initiative. In this context, on the sidelines of the 2018 China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC), China Agricultural University’s China Institute for South-South Cooperation in Agriculture (CISSCA) and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) jointly launched the first “South-South Cooperation / Belt and Road – Nurturing Youth Leadership for Agricultural Development in Africa”. This program is fully funded by the Government of China, and supported by the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).   30 young government officials and established young leaders in the agribusiness sector, from close to 20 African countries, joined the intensive training in Beijing starting August 27.   The training focuses on sharing good practices of China in promoting South-South agricultural cooperation. It also presents roles of different actors including government, market and international institutions in promoting agricultural development. The training also features a field trip and “China-Africa Youth Development and Poverty Reduction Dialogue” to exchange views among participants. During the Opening ceremony, Representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Mr. Lijun Zhao, shared his thoughts that South-South cooperation as a development modality can make a big influence in promoting inclusive development. He thinks that Chinese South-South agricultural cooperation in the new era is mainly focusing on utilizing comparative advantages of China and international organizations and sharing experiences of China in promoting South-South cooperation for agricultural development with other developing countries in Africa and along the Belt and Road. Assistant Minister from the Ministry of Agriculture of Liberia, Mr. Alwin Chinyun Wesseh, spoke at the Opening and expressed his deep appreciation on behalf of the President of Liberia and all participating young leaders, as well as all youth from Africa, for the valuable opportunity provided by the Government of China, CISSCA and UNOSSC. He strongly believes that agriculture sector in Africa has great potential. Youth populations are the driving force in the development of this sector. He thinks the exchange, training and field study can further deepen the understanding between China and Africa, and enhance South-South cooperation in poverty alleviation, ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition in Africa. Professor Gong Shiyuan, Vice President of China Agricultural University, introduced the mission of the newly established China Institute for South-South Cooperation in Agriculture (CISSCA) as the first platform focusing on promoting South-South agricultural cooperation and the “Belt and Road” Agricultural Cooperation, is dedicated to four areas of work: research on development cooperation and South-South cooperation, policy dialogue, capacity development training and overseas development practices sharing. He further shared his expectation on the participating young officials after completing their studies and field visits to be able to formulate concrete action plans in their local contexts which could be implemented and scaled up when back home. He hopes the participants can be goodwill ambassadors to further promote China-Africa friendship and collaborations. United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on South-South Cooperation and Director of the UNOSSC, Mr. Jorge Chediek, sent his video message to congratulate the launching of this Youth Leadership Training programme and the successful implementation of the strategic partnership between UNOSSC and China Agricultural University. Representatives from WFP, FAO, IFAD and World Bank introduced their initiatives and portfolios in South-South agricultural cooperation in Africa and globally. United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)’s “Youth4South: Advanced Youth Leadership Programme” is an umbrella facility dedicated to supporting South-South cooperation in promoting youth leadership and capacity development. “Youth4South” was launched by UNOSSC during the Global South-South Development Expo 2017 in Antalya, Turkey, in partnership with the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation, CISSCA, the Islamic Conference Youth Forum, FK Norway, IFAD, and UNFPA. It aims to: 1) Support the exchange of knowledge and solutions, 2) Provide capacity development training, 3) Provide youth leaders from developing countries accesses to expertise, seed funding and networks, 4) Promote dialogue to increase youth engagement and participation in global dialogues and discussions including ECOSOC Youth Forum, BAPA+40, Global South-South Development Expo, and World Expo 2020. In addition to the already launched thematic clusters including agriculture, rural development, reproductive health, UNOSSC will also organize South-South cooperation trainings in thematic clusters including journalism and media, environment, green economy, as well as youth entrepreneurship and innovation, in the next 12 months.     南南农业合作人才培养瞄准青年领袖: 第一期非洲农业发展青年领袖培训项目顺利启动   中国在过去四十年中的改革开放中积累了丰富的以农促工、以及以农推动减贫的发展经验,这些经验是全球重要的公共产品,可以让更多的国家受益其中。然而,当前的传统培训项目已远远难以满足综合发展的需要,南南合作人才培养急需从当前注重学习为主的交流转变为对于这些国家青年农业领袖的系统培养上,特别是能够通过短期高强度的培训,逐渐培养一批能在这些国家农业政策制定、农业企业管理、农村社会管理等方面发挥作用的青年领导人。 在此背景下,在2018中非合作论坛前夕,中国农业大学南南农业合作学院(CISSCA)、联合国南南合作办公室(UNOSSC),联合发起首届“南南合作/一带一路–非洲农业发展青年领袖培养项目”。该培训由中国政府资助,并由世界粮食计划署、世界银行、联合国农发基金、联合国粮农组织共同支持。来自近20个非洲国家的近30名40岁以下的农业部政府官员,以及部分业界领袖,于2018年8月27日相聚北京,接受为期一周的密集培训。 本次培训将主要集中于分享国际发展南南农业合作的经验,以及市场如何支持农业发展的经验等模块,让学员充分了解政府、市场、国际机构等不同行为主体在农业发展中的角色、作用和共同行动。在此基础上,该培训会还配有三个富有特色的环节:实地考察了解中国农工业全产业链的发展历程和现状;制定具体的行动计划方案,该行动方案可作为他们回国落实执行的依据;参与中非青年发展与减贫对话。 在开幕式中,来自农业农村部国际合作司的赵立军处长代表唐盛尧副司长发表讲话,他认为南南合作将为全球包容性增长发挥巨大推动作用。在现阶段,中国更多的与国际机构合作,引进新理念和比较优势,更希望介绍中国经验,使全球发展中国家尤其是非洲非展中国家受益。 来自利比里亚的农业部的助理部长 Alwin Chinyun Wesseh先生,作为学员代表讲话,他首先代表利比里亚总统,在座的以及代表广大的非洲青年感谢中国政府、中国农业大学、联合国南南合作办公室以及所有培训的支持方,为非洲的青年提供这样一个宝贵的学习机会。他认为非洲的农业领域有极大的潜力,青年群体对建设非洲的经济将发挥关键的作用。他相信通过这样的交流和培训,将会加强中国与非洲之间的理解,通过这次学习到的知识和实地探访的经验,现场的非洲青年官员和广大非洲青年将会尽最大努力和能力,去减少非洲的贫困、饥饿。 中国农业大学副校长元石教授代表主办方发言,他介绍了中国南南农业合作学院作为国内首家注重南南农业合作、一带一路农业合作的高校平台,主要致力于四个领域的工作:发展合作和南南合作研究、政策对话、人才培训和海外发展实践。他也为现场的学员提出殷切期望,希望青年作为发展的主力和动力,通过本次培训和实地考察,希望在座的青年官员在培训结束后,能将自己的行动计划带回国家,为其国家发展出力,促进非洲国家和中国更友好的互动和合作。 联合国秘书长南南合作特使兼联合国南南合作办公室主任,霍尔赫切蒂克先生发表视频讲话,祝贺本次农业青年领袖培训的启动。来自世界银行、世界粮食计划署、联合国粮农组织、联合国农发基金的代表也在发表讲话,并向学院介绍本机构在南南农业合作领域的项目和倡议。 联合国南南合作办公室的“南方青年领袖培养计划”(Youth4South)是与联合国秘书长青年问题特使办公室、南南合作金融中心、中国南南农业合作学院、伊斯兰青年合作会议、FK Norway、国际农业发展基金会 (IFAD) 和联合国人口基金 (UNFPA) 等机构伙 伴,于2017年土耳其安塔利亚举行的全球南南发展博览会共同倡议启动的。 “南方青年领袖培养计划”旨在选择已在各专业领域处于一定领导地位、有一定影响力的发展中国家政府及业界青年领袖,1)扩展其全球视野,提高其对联合国可持续发展目标、南南合作及三角合作的理解;2)为其量身打造的课堂培训、领导力对话、实地考察、深入实践、导师指导项目设计和全球汇报等模块;3)使其获得能力建设,实现成长;4)并帮助其掌握的发展项目和技术获得启动资金和实施支持,获得更大的影响力。除已经启动的农业、农村发展和青年生育健康等专业领域,“南方青年领袖培养计划”还将在近期启动新闻媒体、环境保护、绿色经济、创业创新等领域的南南合作定向培训课程。