Project overview

Africa has a unique population profile, with 44% of its population under the age 15 in 2006 making sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) the youngest region of the world. SSA is home to over 200 million young people, who are employed primarily in agriculture, where they account for 65% of the total employment. The agriculture sector has an important role in meeting these challenges and will do so by increasing the productivity of its human, physical, biological and financial inputs radically. Technology-led productivity growth can transform traditional agriculture into a modern sector and agriculture helps accelerate the economy-wide transformation (Clemens Breisinger et al, 2011).
Young Africans are the key to African agriculture development. However, many are unable to fulfil their potential because of poverty, hunger, poor health and lack of education. The SSA dire situation shows that the majority of youth lack the proper skills needed to gain employment in other formal sectors, with rural youth typically, but often fruitlessly, migrating in search of economic opportunities. That is, young people are leaving rural areas in the hope of better opportunities in the towns and cities. Many may have witnessed their parents and grandparents spend a lifetime surviving on a tiny income, perhaps as smallholder farmers, never having much to show for their effort. Farming is perceived as old-fashioned, offering little opportunity for making money. No wonder young people are attracted by the possibilities of well-paid work in the towns and cities.
FANRPAN identifies young people and their organizations working in agriculture, ICTs and related areas as an indirect target group.  Young women and men have the creativity, the potential and the capacity to make change happen for themselves, for their societies, and for the rest of the world. An enabling environment in which youth are not just beneficiaries of this work but are essential actors in finding solutions to the issues faced by rural young people in Africa is critical.