Engaging Youth in Agricultural Policy Processes

Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s youngest population and is home to over 200 million young people. Two out of three inhabitants are under 25 years of age and 44% of its population is under the age of 15. 70% of the youth resides in rural areas and employed African youth work primarily in the agricultural sector, where they account for 65% of the workforce.Young African men and women are critical to the development of agriculture in Africa and for efforts to ensure food security. Although African youth are primarily employed in the agricultural sector and account for the majority of its workforce, they are disadvantaged in terms of employment status and they face several challenges that undermine their economic potential and ability to influence existing policy processes. Many are unable to fulfill their potential because of poverty, hunger, poor health and lack of education. Young people face constraints in gaining access to land, credit, training and new technologies. They have limited or, in most cases, no direct access to the agricultural sector, across the entire agricultural value chain – from farming to research, innovation, product development and market participation.