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Developing Institutions and Inter-Organizational Synergies through Digitalization and Youth Engagement in African Agriculture: The Case of “Africa Goes Digital”

Author

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  • Matthew Ayamga

    (Business Management and Organization (BMO) Chair Group, Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 8130, 6700 EW Wageningen, The Netherlands
    Information Technology (INF) Chair Group, Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 8130, 6700 EW Wageningen, The Netherlands)

  • Abdelaziz Lawani

    (Agribusiness Management & Entrepreneurship, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of Tennessee State University, 202K Farell-Westbrook Complex, 3108 John A. Merrit Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209, USA)

  • Selorm Akaba

    (Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, School of Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast CC-075-8216, Ghana)

  • Arsene Birindwa

    (Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, Department of Development Studies, Larensteinselaan 26-A, 6882 CT Velp, The Netherlands)

Abstract

As digitalization increasingly gains attention in the agriculture sector, many African youths are seizing the opportunity provided by digital technologies to engage in agriculture. While prior studies have started examining the intricacies of digitalization in agriculture, they have paid less attention to its implications for fostering institutions and inter-organizational synergies that can support and sustain the businesses of youth enterprises engaging with Africa’s agriculture. Against this backdrop, we undertook a qualitative case study to shed light on the development of a community of practice comprising youth enterprises engaging in agriculture through digitalization. Thus, we studied Africa Goes Digital (AFGD), a consortium of young African enterprises that rely on digital technologies and solutions to provide services to farmers across the African continent. The results showed that: (1) the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) played a pioneering role as a development agency in supporting enterprises with drones and training for agriculture, which led to the formation of AFGD; (2) two prevalent themes characterized the services offered by AFGD members; (3) AFGD brings members under one platform where they leverage WhatsApp for communication and knowledge sharing and Twitter to showcase success stories and form partnerships with each other to execute certain development projects with governments and development agencies; (4) the lack of regulations or the restrictive regulations on the use of drones are still problems that some members face, and the high costs of sensors and related drones are challenges for the members. Building on the results, we discuss the implications of digitalization for supporting African governments in meeting sustainability goals and conclude by describing the theoretical contribution of our study and promising future research directions.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Ayamga & Abdelaziz Lawani & Selorm Akaba & Arsene Birindwa, 2023. "Developing Institutions and Inter-Organizational Synergies through Digitalization and Youth Engagement in African Agriculture: The Case of “Africa Goes Digital”," Land, MDPI, vol. 12(1), pages 1-17, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:12:y:2023:i:1:p:199-:d:1028579
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    References listed on IDEAS

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