There are numerous developments happening in the forest sector in terms of the goods and services that forests provide, education and labour market among others.  These developments have a great potential in promoting sustainable forest management and offering numerous career opportunities including green jobs. In 2019, almost 60 % of Africa’s population was under the age of 25 years making Africa the youngest continent in the word. Such a youthful population could provide a critical mass of talented individuals that would transform Africa’s Forest Sector.

IFSA and the Joint IUFRO-IFSA Taskforce on Forest Education launched the Young African Forestry Professionals Publication project (YAFP) in May 2020. The project’s goal is to motivate and inspire young people from Africa to pursue forest-related studies and careers, by increasing the visibility of forest education and career options in forest-related fields. This will help in raising awareness and changing the perception about the importance of forestry profession in Africa which is facing the challenge of declining interest among the youth, resulting from the negative perceptions that exist about the profession.  A novel student-based empirical research will be carried out and results compiled into a book which will be a one stop shop for knowledge on successful youth in forestry professions, networking opportunities and forest education in Africa.

Participants in the the 2018 North African Regional Meeting of the International Forestry Students’ Association taking part in an excursion

Digital and print publications of this project will be distributed widely. Books will be available to tertiary institutions offering forestry programmes in Africa and selected high schools. Electronic copies will be widely distributed online and promoted through various social media platforms. The project is generously funded by IUFRO’s Special Programmes for Development of Capacities (SPDC) and the Joint IUFRO-IFSA Task Force on Forest Education.

If you are a student and IFSA member from Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania or Uganda and are interested in joining our team, you can find more information on how to do so: https://ifsa.net/open-call-student-researcher-young-african-forestry-professionals-publication/

To learn more about the project click here: https://ifsa.net/ifsa-iufro-africa-book-project/

All enquiries about the project should be directed to [email protected]

Article by: Juliet Achieng Owuor, Deputy Coordinator of the joint IUFRO-IFSA Taskforce on Forest Education