New guidelines to increase investments for and with youth in agrifood systems in Africa have been released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the African Union Commission (AUC) .
This was announced at the 32nd FAO Regional Conference for Africa in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Throughout all phases of the investment program cycle, the Guidelines for Youth Investment in Agrifood Systems in Africa provide practical guidelines for developing youth-focused and youth-sensitive investment programs that consider young people as participants in rural development.
Governments, financial and technical partners, the commercial sector, civil society and young women and men themselves are all encouraged to use the recommendations when creating and implementing agribusiness investment programs.
“These guidelines are timely and we need you to take ownership of them. We need local ownership,” FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said at the launch.
Unemployed and extremely poor
Africa as a region has the highest percentage of young people in the world, estimated at 420 million people between the ages of 15 and 35. It is a huge resource for future prosperity, but the challenges these young people face are many.
According to Dongyu, young people are twice as likely as adults to be unemployed.
“The majority of young people who work are poor and occupy vulnerable and poor quality jobs in the informal sector. In 2019, almost two-thirds (63%) of young workers lived in poverty in Africa compared to half (51%) of adults. Young people are also overrepresented among the extremely poor.
“In addition to this, young women, especially in rural areas, face gendered social norms, laws and practices that limit their involvement in paid work and taking up development opportunities,” said Dongyu.
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