The Centre for Human Security (CHS), an arm of the multi-billion naira Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, has initiated moves towards boosting food sufficiency in Africa.
It was learnt that the scheme has started in Delta State with the "Feed Delta Project," which is the pilot programme of the OOPL’s Feed Africa programme.
The project co-ordinator, Prof. Peter Okebukola, who spoke in Abeokuta on Monday, explained that the CHS essentially aims at supporting African governments in the implementation of policies and programmes that would guarantee food security on the continent.
He disclosed that the project, which is intended to run for 10 years, is aimed at employing 10 million youths throughout Africa within the period. The Delta Project, he said, could employ two million youths out of the 10 million within the period.
The CHS is the academic arm of the presidential library and is aimed at providing a base for theoretical, qualitative and quantitative analyses to unravel causal relationships and interdependencies, which activate security threats in the African cultural context.
Okebukola spoke at a press conference to highlight the series of programmes that CHS and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Institute for African Culture and the International Understanding have lined up for the year.
He announced that the Delta Project would be replicated in Ogun State, as Governor Ibikunle Amosun has requested for it.
Among other activities lined up is the School Farm Competition, which Okebukola said aims at encouraging farming in secondary schools across Africa. There is also the Young Farmers’ Club Competition, geared towards preparing the youth for the exciting world of farming.
According to him, there would also be an "African inter-collegiate debate, which would involve best debating teams from selected secondary schools in Africa on human security." Students from secondary schools in Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Botswana would participate in the debate.
"With this project, we want to create a cultural festival in Africa, where youth and school children can periodically converge to promote African culture from a tender age," he said.
Okebukola listed misplaced priority, lack of political will and usage of crude agricultural equipment as some of the factors responsible for the African continent’s inability to feed itself.