The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the African Union Commission (AUC) have unveiled new guidelines for increasing investment for and with youth in agricultural food systems in Africa, during the 32nd Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa (ARC32) .
That Investment Guidelines for Youth in Agricultural Food Systems in Africa provides practical “how to” steps to develop youth-focused and youth-sensitive investment programs that view youth as partners in rural development, across all phases of the investment program cycle. These guidelines are intended for those involved in designing and implementing agri-food investment programs: governments, financial and technical partners, the private sector, civil society, and young women and men themselves.
“These guidelines are timely, and we need you to take ownership. We need local ownership,” said FAO Director General Qu Dongyu at the launch in Malabo.
Director-General Qu also urged countries to engage in FAO’s One Country, One Product Priority initiative in which agricultural producers identify a product, adopt international standards, build competitiveness and reduce costs, and countries create enabling policies to support the involvement of people. young. He gave an example of papaya in countries such as Equatorial Guinea, which is sold cheaply, but can reap huge profits if it is marketed to developed countries that do not have the climate to grow tropical fruits.
“Although political momentum and proclamations to mobilize youth inclusive investment programs and interventions are needed, it is not enough. We make an urgent call for concrete operational action – The Guidelines for Investments for Youth in Agricultural Food Systems in Africa have great potential to drive this process and bring investment in youth-focused agricultural food systems initiatives to scale,” said HE Amb. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment of the African Union Commission.
continent of youth
Africa as a region has the highest percentage of youth in the world, estimated at 420 million people between the ages of 15 and 35. This is a huge resource for future prosperity, but the challenges facing these young people are many.
Young people are twice as likely as adults to be unemployed. The majority of young workers are poor and are employed in vulnerable and low-quality jobs in the informal sector. In 2019, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of young workers lived in poverty in Africa compared to half (51 percent) of adults. Young people are also represented among the very poor. In addition, young women, especially in rural areas, face
gender-biased norms, laws and social practices that limit their involvement in profitable work and seize development opportunities.
Transforming agricultural food systems can address these challenges, opening up vast employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for young women and men in agricultural value chains and across food systems.
Youth is the key to building a sustainable agricultural food system
Agricultural food systems are under pressure from the effects of the climate crisis, chronic and emerging conflicts and the impact of COVID-19, undermining their ability to provide healthy and affordable food for all. But young people are tough and innovative. It is critical to invest differently and to engage them as the central players driving the transformation of the agri-food system. This includes through the expansion of automation, digital technology, and a green economy. Young people bring new ideas, solutions, products and services, new entrepreneurial models, partnerships and networks. Failing to invest in youth can lead to economic and social costs and threaten the sustainability of the agri-food system.
That Investment Guidelines for Youth in Agricultural Food Systems in Africa aims to accelerate investment in and by youth in agricultural food systems. They recommend four steps for investing in youth: 1) Involve youth in the investment program cycle; 2) Assess and pre-design with youth lenses; 3) Design with youth lens; 4) Apply then monitor, evaluate, and make use of what you learn.
FAO and AUC developed Guidelines drawn from research, analysis of case studies from successful programmes, multi-stakeholder consultations and widely attended technical validation workshops.
Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of the FAO Regional Office for Africa.
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New guidelines for increasing investment for young people in agri-food systems in Africa
Source link New guidelines for increasing investment for young people in agri-food systems in Africa