In this section, you may find new materials that have been published on the topic of “Youth in agribusiness: shaping the future of agriculture” , since the date of the event. We continually select major new publications and articles that add up to the policy points discussed in this briefing.
Supporting the “Next Generation” in Rural Development, Agriculture and Food Security in developing countries. The G20 could launch an initiative to stimulate employment and income generating opportunities for young Africans, including through skills development (Initiative for Rural Youth Employment) and vocational training. The G20 could in addition commit to an action plan on the empowerment of women and girls through digital inclusion – eSkills4Girls.
Youth employment should be at the centre of any strategy to face economic and demographic challenges in Africa, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization José Graziano da Silva told a joint African Union-European Union meeting, hosted at FAO headquarters in Rome. In 2014 alone, about 11 million young Africans entered the labour market. But many see few opportunities in the agriculture sector and are constrained by a lack of skills, low wages, and limited access to land and financial services. Combined, this makes them more prone to migrate from rural areas. “Fostering sustainable agriculture and rural development is essential to absorb these millions of youth looking for a job,” Graziano da Silva said. “A sustainable world can only be achieved with the full engagement of young people. They must feel integrated and believe that a more peaceful and prosperous world is possible.” The one-day meeting was co-hosted by the African Union Commission, the European Commission and the Estonian Presidency of the EU Council and was attended by Ministers of Agriculture of the African Union and the European Union. The aim was to build a common vision on how to generate sustainable, inclusive jobs for African youth in the rural sector.
More than 1 billion young people (aged 15–24 years) live in developing countries. Africa’s youth population expected to double to over 830 million by 2050, and 10-12 million youth enter the workforce each year in Africa. However, there are scant employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for young women and men. Creating jobs for these young people requires urgent government intervention at the policy level. Policy action needed: Increase the representation of youth and youth organisation in policy-making processes; Deliver quality of education and skills-based learning that responds to the needs of the labour market; Streamline policies on data access, use and regulation to promote a conducive environment for ICT-led businesses and entrepreneurship; Provide funds to enable youth SMEs to expand and scale up; Improve youth access to finance for start-ups and business development, including through training in financial skills, engagement with the private sector, promotion of blended finance and other novel financing mechanisms Improve ICT infrastructure and policies.
Africa’s Youth Employment Challenge: New Perspectives
IDS, May 2017
Who are the youth and what is the problem? Are entrepreneurship and self-employment the solution? And what about youth aspirations? Such questions are addressed in this issue of the IDS Bulletin, drawing from the literature on how development research affects policy and noting that it says little about how young researchers move into policy engagement. Articles consider the evidence on youth employment policy and interventions, the politics of youth policy, the changing nature of young people’s work, and the promotion of entrepreneurship. They are authored by the ten members of the first cohort of the Matasa Fellows Network (a joint initiative by the MasterCard Foundation and IDS), which has a particular focus on the youth employment challenge in Africa.
Boosting youth employment in Africa: what works and why?
INCLUDE platform, 30 May 2017
This synthesis report (PDF) by the Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies (INCLUDE) reviews the latest knowledge on youth employment in Africa and the role of agriculture in combating youth unemployment. For most African youth (aged 15–24 years) the key employment issue is underemployment. They do work, but part-time and in low-skilled jobs in the informal sector. By 2020, most new jobs will be created in informal sectors like agriculture and household enterprises. A focus on enhancing productivity in these two currently low-productive sectors is, therefore, crucial in the short term. Raising productivity and, thus, creating employment in agriculture implies a need to invest in irrigation technology to ensure all-year round farming, as well as in training of farmers on the use of improved seeds and fertilizer. Also farm diversification will enhance agricultural productivity as it reduces seasonal underemployment in agriculture. Local economic conditions determine the (sub) sectors to prioritize. Possible priority sectors that could be targeted include staples, cash crops, horticultural products and livestock. Different actors have different roles to play in creating employment opportunities for youth.