, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 4 – The youth between 18-28 years old have until January 15, 2017 to submit their 500-word essay in the Blog4dev competition courtesy of the World Bank.
Now in its third year, the Blog4Dev Contest is an ideas-sharing platform initiated by World Bank for youth in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. The 2016 competition which began on 2nd December 2016 is challenging youth to write on agriculture, and the opportunities that youth in Africa can seize to grow the sector.
World Bank Country Director for Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Eritrea, Africa Diarietou Gaye noted that the voice of the youth remains integral to economic development in any country, and the blogs are an opportunity for policy makers to interact with the youth. She added that the Agriculture sector remains an untapped sector, but with boundless opportunities for innovation.
“Agriculture is the backbone of the East African regional economy, as it accounts for about 32pc of the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Growth in the agriculture sector helps raise incomes, create employment opportunities, reduces poverty, and accounts for about 70pc of employment opportunities in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. Despite being a field vibrant with innovations driven by young people, why are they shying away from agriculture?” noted Diarietou.
Two winners will be selected from Kenya while Uganda and Rwanda will front a winner each. The best blogger will win an all-expense paid tour to the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC. In addition, they will go through intense training which will equip them with knowledge and skills that will contribute to economic growth of their countries.
On her part Arimus Media Chief Executive Officer Julie Gichuru noted that online media has created an opportunity for youth to widen their perspectives on development issues.
In turn, this breaks the glass ceiling between policy makers and the public.
“The youth have a measure of influence in policy development, and the internet has made people more knowledgeable of the issues that surround them. We are happy that global policy makers like the World Bank are listening to youth from developing countries to influence the process,” noted Julie.
In 2016, Mercy Anyango, and Jeremy Kerongo, topped the competition while Collins Namayuba and Martha Wakoli scooped top positions against 800 contestants in 2014.