This is one of 38 winning blogs from the 2021 Blog4Dev competition, the World Bank Africa annual writing contest, inviting young people to weigh in on a topic critical to their country’s economic development. Blog4Dev winners responded to the question: How can young people work with their governments and civil society organizations to respond to the impact of COVID-19 and build a stronger post-pandemic economic and social system?
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has clearly affected all areas of social and economic activity, and both governments and nongovernmental organizations around the world are mobilizing to find ways of arresting its harmful impact. However,.
Agriculture has a huge influence on the socioeconomic development of any country, as it helps combat poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment. It also provides the raw materials that sustain other economic activities. However, successive governments seem to place little value on this sector, which often leads people to seek refuge in other economic activities.
. Investing in this sector now will create the conditions needed to solve the problems caused by COVID-19, such as unemployment and food insecurity, thereby giving people hope once again.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed our weaknesses and import dependency. So, now we must start relying on ourselves, placing faith in our own production and expanding it to serve ourselves better. We must start supplying our domestic markets with national products, and also consider setting up industries to add value to our produce. Conditions must also be created to ensure that products are supplied by producers in a balanced exchange that benefits all parties involved.
This basically entails joint endeavor between youth, governments, and civil society. Governments and civil society must encourage young people, first of all, to submit agricultural projects for development, through competitive bidding processes. Once the winners have been selected, they must then be supported in the implementation of their projects. Support should also be given to all those who work in agriculture, to encourage people to view this sector as crucial for societal development.
To conclude, responding to the impact of COVID-19 basically involves putting our faith in the creation of small-scale agricultural projects by young people, working in conjunction with governments and civil society. Such faith is justified by the fact that agriculture has the potential to solve the problems we are facing at this time of crisis (food insecurity and unemployment). To invest in a policy of production and processing of national agricultural output, to supply domestic markets instead of being totally dependent on imports. Now is also the time to show that we can produce, manufacture, and export to other parts of the world. Only in this way will we be able to build a stronger and healthier post-pandemic economic and social system.
Tchuda Na Blaga is the 2021 Blog4Dev winner from Guinea-Bissau. See the full list of 2021 Blog4Dev winners here, and read their blog posts.