ENABLE-TAAT compact leader at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Onyebuchim Evelyn Ohanwusi is the ENABLE-TAAT compact leader at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). She holds a BSc in Quantity Surveying from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria and an MBA in Agribusiness from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. She began her career as a pioneer and founding member of the IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) program at IITA Ibadan in 2012; and has since become a strong advocate for youth and women in agribusiness.
IYA is a youth in agribusiness program that was established to address the issue of widespread youth unemployment and to provide a platform that propels youth towards self-employment and job creation in agriculture through training and mentoring. The model has gained recognition and was adopted by the African Development Bank in the implementation of the Pan-African Youth in agribusiness program- ENABLE Youth program.
Evelyn believes that without fore exposure to agriculture, youth can be productively engaged in the sector if provided the right trainings, backstopping, institutional support/mentoring and linkage to resources. Her effort in ensuring that young people get the opportunity to explore and earn a decent living through agriculture has yielded remarkable results.
Under her leadership, IYA has implemented several capacity building activities for youth in agriculture leading to the emergence of independent agribusiness enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In June 2019, the program was recognized as an innovation that strengthens the role of youth (under 35) in agriculture and food systems thus awarded the International Innovation Award by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Government of Switzerland during the 41st FAO conference.