06.06.2018

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The food economy plays an important role in employment in West Africa, particularly in rural areas. This paper published by OECD takes a look at the current structure of employment in the West African food economy.

The paper Agriculture, Food and Jobs in West Africa has been published within the West African Papers series by OECD in April 2018. This paper aims to contribute to the debate by quantifying and describing the current structure of employment in the West African food economy and by looking at some of the emerging spatial and territorial implications linked to the transformations that are reshaping this sector.

The food economy is the biggest employer in West Africa accounting for 66 per cent of total employment, representing 82 million jobs. If only rural areas are considered the percentage is far higher: Overall, food economy employment accounts for 81 per cent of total rural employment. The high share of rural food-economy employment is explained by the overall dominance of agricultural activities.

The food economy plays a particularly important role in women’s employment. 68 per cent of all employed women work in the food economy.

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