Inaugural YARA Conference
The Young African Researchers in Agriculture (YARA) network brings together young and early career African researchers in agriculture from all over the Continent in a new peer network.
The Initiative was launched in 2014 at the African Union Head Quarters in Addis Ababa and was inspired by the need to support and promote young scholars on the continent in order to secure the future of research, policy and practice in Africa’s rural transformation.
The aim of the Young African Researchers in Agriculture (YARA) network is to support young professionals in sharing information, concerns and working on the challenges they face in their career development. In doing this, the network helps address the critical shortage of rural development research capacity on African continent.
The Young African Researchers in Agriculture (YARA) network endeavours to enhance their research skills and knowledge base through networking, information sharing and collaboration. It promotes the evidence-base on context-specific rural development research, policy and practice in Africa in order to inform future programming in the area of economic inclusion on the African continent.
The youthful attribute of the members of the network gives the urge to the network members to undertake long term research work that can potentially provide the much needed robust panel data on the agrarian change in Africa thereby making available reliable and accurate information on rural transformation trajectories in Africa over time. This would play a crucial role in informing possible areas of intervention for policy engagement with much precision and efficacy in all policy making processes.
In concrete terms, the network undertakes the following activities: Publishing together various academic outputs such as journal papers, books, and policy briefs; Organizing conferences, seminars, panels in the academic and policy conferences to engage constructively in the debates on issues of common interests for the network; Organizing capacity building workshops and other initiatives to sharpen and optimize the human capital development of the members of the network; and finally mobilizing research funding for short, medium and long term research projects on various themes pertaining to rural transformation in Africa as outlined above.
YARA members have been conducting research on diverse issues relating to agrarian transformation in different parts of the African continent and the conference will provide them with the opportunity to share their research outcomes/results and experiences and get constructive feedback, comments and critiques, while at the same time encouraging academic debates and engagement on these issues particularly among young African scholars.