13.01.2020

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This book takes a look at the great challenge for rural Africa engendered by the growing share of young people and how youth can participate in agricultural transformation.

The book Youth and jobs in rural Africa: Beyond stylized facts was published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in December 2019. It focuses on the share of working-age young people in Africa south of the Sahara that has risen due to past declines in mortality coupled with high fertility.

This has created a sense of urgency among national governments and the international development community as the prospect of widespread youth unemployment in Africa, and the social instability and political unrest it could bring, looms closer. As a result, African governments are under pressure to create more and better jobs for the region’s young and rapidly growing population.

According to authors this “youth bulge” presents a challenge, but it may also prove to be an opportunity to advance rural development. A young and better-educated workforce could lead to greater use of more sophisticated farm technologies, commercial agricultural practices, and expansion of rural nonfarm enterprises. 

There is an increasing alignment of interests and incentives, the authors state.

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