Eric Sika, Bukavu
My goal is to serve as a model for my community.
Eric Sika, making a differenceLike everybody else, Eric holds principles and values. But he surprises his relatives when, for example, he rejected any favours for obtaining his first job after college. This agriculture engineer is fiercely opposed to recruitment based on personal affinities.
My objective is to serve as a model for my community.
His own bossHis circle of friends? Young people from the Catholic University of Bukavu in the East of D.R. Congo, most of them unemployed, waiting for an offer to come up. When it does, they generally come from non-governmental organisations and rarely from public institutions. Eric Sika chose to be his own boss. After his internship at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), he created, with his former colleagues, a platform that gathers young agronomists.
“At the beginning, the objective is to produce and then transform farming products with the support of the IITA”, he says. The long-term goal is to recruit around 20,000 young people of different backgrounds in the farming sector.
We have to set up a complete production line. From, for example, corn seeding to flour commercialisation. For that purpose, we need young people from different backgrounds and disciplines.
FocusEric believes that it is neither space nor the human resources that are lacking in D.R. Congo. He explains: “we see a blatant absence of the state. Young people are lost and without a model”. In fact, he sees this with his older brother. His life is wracked by difficulties, among which the economic environment that is hostile to entrepreneurship.
You have to be relentless and focused on the final objective.