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September 19th, 2017 / CNBC Africa

Agriculture and youth are a compatible pair, particularly in the African context: as one of the continent’s most critical industries and biggest sources of income, contributing a quarter of Africa’s total GDP and employing 70 percent of the labour force, it has the remarkable potential to empower what will be the youngest and biggest workforce in the world by 2040.

Africa has an increasingly youthful population. Already half the population is under the age of 25, and 72 percent of these young people are either unemployed or vulnerable. These astonishing statistics show no signs of diminishing either, with over 330 million young Africans set to enter the job market in the next 20 years and only a third of that number forecast to be able to find wage jobs.

What this indicates is a growing need for workable solutions for the youth to become productive and part of the economic mainstream. This is especially true for agriculture, which has the potential to create jobs across the continent and serve as a driver of growth. However, the industry is currently lagging in building this growth largely because of a lack of access to knowledge, skills, education and land.
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