With the highest education exclusion rates in the world, as well the largest proportion of agricultural workers, it should come as welcome news that eLearning Africa is launching a new food and agriculture course. This is designed to make the business side of food production intelligible, so that farming communities can get the most out of their land. The platform eLearning Africa is an innovative service, aimed at developing skills and training workers for a rapidly changing world. Focusing on employability in the digital age, this online course will turn the average farmer into a business leader.
A Focus on Africa’s Women
More than 40% of Africa’s workforce are involved in farming and food production. These workers are disproportionately women, who make up 60%-80% of agriculture workers. Therefore, any food industry course must be tailored to be as inclusive to women as possible. Not only will female farmers be taught agriculture and digital marketing skills, but they can be helped into other sectors such as volunteer medical work or business administration tasks.
This versatility of skill development is vital. AI and other technology will quickly spread throughout Africa, leaving women seeking work beyond manual farmwork. In countries like Uganda and Kenya, there as half as many girls in education as boys. In South Sudan, a girl is more likely to die during childbirth than make it to the end of primary school. Education is not just about employment for these young women. It reduces their chances of unwanted pregnancy or developing illness and allows them a louder voice in their local community.
Facing the Problems of the Modern World
There are two main problems facing the African farmer, both of which are likely to only get worse with time. The first is climate change, which is making it increasingly difficult to grow crops and has tripled the likelihood of deadly droughts occurring across eastern and southern Africa. The eLearning Africa course gives advice on sustainable farming methods to slow the pace of change.
Secondly, population growth is increasing demand for food to unsustainable levels. It is hoped that bringing wealth into African economies and improving education levels will lower birthrates and therefore decrease the demand on farmers to produce.
This new eLearning course goes beyond teaching ICT and digital marketing skills. It goes to the heart of Africa’s farming communities, helping workers, especially female workers, to raise their standards of living. It should help to improve efficiency and bring prosperity to areas where it is needed.