Within the Productive Employment theme, INCLUDE has focused on sharing knowledge on how to promote youth employment. Given the large share and potential of agriculture in employment in Africa, most attention within this debate is paid to engaging youth in agricultural activities.
To investigate how African youth can best be engaged in agriculture to promote inclusive development, INCLUDE and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform work on similar issues.[i] The Food & Business Knowledge Platform has recently published a map of the most important issues to engage youth in agriculture. Six bottlenecks are presented that prevent youth from successful engagement: lack of access to knowledge, information and education; lack of access to land; lack of access to financial services; lack of access to green jobs; lack of access to markets and a lack of engagement in the policy dialogue. Moreover, the map presents an overview of the (increasing number of) actors working on the issue of youth in agriculture, both in the Netherlands and internationally.
The map can be found here.
An overview of INCLUDE’s most recent work on youth employment and agriculture is presented below:
Integrating the existing knowledge on youth employment, it is often concluded that comprehensive approaches are required to optimize youth employment interventions. For instance, the INCLUDE one-pagers on ‘The evidence base to promote youth employment’ and ‘Ten focus areas for youth employment policies’ point out that policies should not target the labour market within a vacuum, but should relate to the wider socio-cultural and socioeconomic context.
When discussing the potential role of agriculture in inclusive development, similar conclusions are drawn. In its recent report on ‘The future of agriculture in Africa’s transformation’ INCLUDE outlined how comprehensive approaches are required to make Africa’s agricultural transformation successful in an inclusive manner. One of the key challenges is to make agriculture attractive to youth, as recent studies show that young people’s share of agricultural production is low and declining in African countries. David Suttie, Karen Brooks and Marije Balt have elaborated on how this can be done.
[i] See for instance our joint publication on agri-entrepreneurship and farming innovations: http://includeplatform.net/the-role-of-agri-entrepreneurship-and-farming-innovations-for-youth-in-agriculture-engagement/
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AGRA, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa