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.
Creating jobs, especially for the youth in agricultural commodity value chains, stimulating wealth creation, and ensuring food and nutritional security: These are the three priorities that the African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN) and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) have identified as key pillars in a strengthened partnership between the two institutions. To implement the priorities, AAIN and ASARECA recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support and accelerate the commercialisation of technologies from scientific research. The understanding paves way for AAIN and ASARECA to develop a commercialisation strategy of technologies profiled by ASARECA and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) during the implementation of UniBRAIN, the predecessor of AAIN.
‘Youth key attraction for investing in Africa’
The Herald, August 22, 2017
One of the major attractions when investing in Africa has been the continent’s young and energetic population. According to the African Economic Outlook, a growing youth population comes with energy, creativity and talents which are also the key to its future prosperity. Research has also shown that an increasing working age population is a major opportunity for economic growth. The UN World Population Prospects Report also weighed in saying Africa will have the second largest population by 2050 making it an attractive destination for capital. The World Bank also estimates that this demographic dividend could generate 11-15 percent GDP growth between 2011 and 2030. It further says that if Africa is able to take advantage, and provide adequate education and jobs, $500 billion a year could be added to its economies for 30 years. According to research done by South Africa’s Leigh-Gail Petersen the presence of a young population means there is a working population, meaning more income which leads to better support for citizens and more improvements in the country’s development. But this is a tough time to be young in Zimbabwe. The touted potential might come to naught in the case of Zimbabwe if measures are not taken to take advantage of this young population. As it did with the commodities boom as well as the scramble for Africa, Zimbabwe risks losing out on the touted benefits of a young and energetic population. In 2006–2008 and then again in 2010–2011 commodity-exporting economies hit the mother lode when commodity prices boomed.
AFDB to establish fund to support youth in agriculture
Ghana News Agency, 14th August, 2017
Mr Edson Mpyisi, Principal Agricultural Economist on Monday said the African Development Bank (AFDB), would soon set up a fund to provide support to start-up businesses for Africa youth who are desirous to venture into agriculture. He said proposed fund dubbed “Youth Agripreneurial Fund” would provide seed capital at a low interest rate to address challenges in the sector. He said the move was crucial because most of the youth who wanted to venture into agriculture complained of lack of financial support and the unwillingness of the banks to provide credit facilities to them. Mr Mpyisi told the Ghana News Agency in an interview ahead of the African Green Revolution Forum to be organised from September 4 to 8 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on the theme: “Accelerating Africa’s Path to Prosperity: Growing Inclusion Economics and Jobs through Agriculture”. The Forum is an annual platform established in 2010 for global and African leaders to develop actionable plans to move African agriculture forward and achieve green revolution in Africa. The forum would be in partnership with Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and its development partners including the Rockefeller Foundation, Grow Africa and AFDB. The forum would provide a session for youth in agribusiness and entrepreneurship, research and technology, access to financing, how to develop enterprise, and a youth fair where the youth would present their services to the participants for business to business network. He said agriculture was a growing sector with great potential in the continent, and that the sector currently has a market of 30 billion dollars and can grow to about one trillion-dollar market by 2030, hence the need for the bank to support the youth to engage in agribusiness.
Focus on challenges that discourage youth from farming –ACET report
The agenda to attract educated young people into farming “has to focus on the challenges that discourage them from farming,” according to a report by African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET). The report, titled “Agriculture Powering Africa’s Economic Transformation,” looked at how to make farming attractive to young people. These challenges are the same as those of farming generally, including access to land, inputs, finance and markets, “but the barriers are even higher for youth, who lack the necessary resources and social connections,” the report said. “But the effort to engage youth in agriculture is worthwhile, to take advantage of their generally higher education levels, more commercial orientation and strong drive, which makes them more trainable as modern farmers,” the report emphasizes. “Making farming cool” is often understood to revolve around the use of ICTs, especially mobile phone applications, to bring African agriculture into the 21st century, for example by giving farmers (and hopefully young graduate farmers) access to critical information on climate conditions, markets and pricing. How to make farming attractive to young people is fast becoming a major talking point in development circles.
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.