Youth Brigade Agrobusiness Park: a model enterprise for sustainable job creation in the DRC

For several decades now, agriculture has been perceived, particularly by young people, as a poor profession, reserved for the vulnerable stratum of society. While agriculture offers thousands of job opportunities in the value chain, over 80% of the population is unemployed in a country with almost 80 million hectares of arable land. The African Agricultural Leadership Institute (AALI) sees this paradox as the result of the lack of interest and misperception of Congolese leaders and young people in the agro-pastoral sector.

In its vision of promoting leadership in African agriculture and its proven expertise in the field, AALI is focusing on young people, equipping them as influencers and vectors of change in the new agricultural paradigm. This change of mentality on the apprehension of agriculture as a “business”, is a process requiring sustainable actions towards the Congolese population, particularly the Youth.

This is how AALI, through its Youth Brigade, is setting up the Agribusiness Park based on the circular economy model. This park is the pragmatic approach chosen by the Youth Brigade to serve as an example of effective advocacy of this new understanding of agriculture as a business, promoted by AALI.

Demonstrating the use of small-scale mechanization by the Youth Brigade at the Agriparc

For its implementation, the Nyangezi cluster was identified as the first site, thanks to the opportunities it presents. It is located 25 km from the commercial city of Bukavu in South Kivu province, where there are no agro-industrial sites. In addition to imported inputs, the region’s inhabitants even import cassava leaves, which can be produced locally. The Park will therefore be the first agro-industrial center to be set up by AALI, and will serve as a pilot framework for training over 1,500 young people in agribusiness, transferring high-performance agricultural technologies and maximizing local food production in the area. This enterprise will generate at least 1,000 direct and indirect jobs for young people in South Kivu province.


The Agriparc project in full implementation at Nyangezi in South Kivu province, DRC

This agribusiness park will cover 47 hectares, land made available by Marcelin CISHAMBO, former governor of South Kivu province, under AALI’s advocacy of agribusiness development for young Congolese. This is the first local example of agricultural leadership promoted by AALI.

Today, the major challenge for young people and smallholders in the DRC remains access to land. AALI, through its Youth Brigade, is bringing its expertise to bear on the challenges of transforming the agricultural sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The aim is not only to contribute to the reduction of imports, but also to influence a change in the mentality of leaders and young people towards agriculture. AALI intends to set up this park in several provinces of the DRC, in order to accelerate the country’s agricultural transformation.