4H in Africa: Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa

The building of a global 4-H network, 4-H has been in existence in Africa since 1962 with the largest program in Kenya.

The “….and my world” part of the 4-H pledge was added in 1973. Many do not know that the international connection had actually begun prior to this global acknowledgment. 4-H has been in existence in Africa since 1962 with the largest 4-H program in Kenya, where it is called “4-K.”

In the Unites States, the widely recognized 4-H Clover emblem’s four “H’s” stand for head, heart, hands and health. The fourth “H” was suggested to be “hustle” until it was officially given the meaning of “health” in 1911. In Africa 4K Club the four “K’s” in Swahili stand for Kenya, “Kuungana” (to unite), “Kufanya” (to do) and “Kusaidia” (to help). Its emblem has a map of Kenya and more, like a cow and “Nina Ahidi” (I promise). 4-H Kenya (4-K) headquarters are located at the Ministry of Agriculture Nairobi.

The 2011 annual reports have Kenya the largest in 4-H programming with more than 5,215 Clubs and a membership of more than 181,400. This is 5,000 of the possible 20,000 schools. 4-K is for younger children; once they outgrow it, they move on to Young Farmers, which has a graduated structure.

The Agricultural Sector Coordination Unit (ASCU) is an inter-ministerial Secretariat of the Agricultural Sector Ministries. This is a New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) group which is responsible for driving economic integration in Africa on behalf of the African Union. To achieve the much-desired socioeconomic development, NEPAD is under the auspices of the African Union, which established the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The foundation has collaborated with other youth-led and youth-serving organizations, government agencies, donor agencies, humanitarian and non-profit groups, media networks, universities, faith-based groups, communities and young people themselves, coordinating a regional effort to advance young people’s desire to lead productive lives.

For Kenya, CAADP is an important compact because agriculture is key to the economy and livelihoods of Africa citizens. 4-H programs in three countries are serving as “hubs of excellence” to implement strategies: Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya. Kenya is a hub of excellence in monitoring, evaluation and knowledge center systems. 4-H’s Tanzania headquarters are in Tanga, with the hub of excellence in 4-H leadership instruction institute. 4-H’s Ghana headquarters are in Koforidua, with the hub of excellence in 4-H enterprise gardens. There is also 4-H Namibia with its headquarters in Windhoek.

The 4-H Global Network has received 1.5 million dollars from the Gates Foundation Grant; DuPont and 4-H have announced a Youth Development Initiative for Africa. 4-H is thankful for these founding partners for investment in global 4-H programs and the millions of young people they serve. 4-H has taken root in 13 countries in Africa, with more partners identified every year.

4-H positive youth development is truly worldwide with 50 years in Africa.

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