By Irene Gaitirira
Published November 23, 2017
Only three-out-of-11 young people entering the job market in Africa every year end up in formal jobs in a continent whose youthful population (15-35 years) is estimated to number 420 million.
But did you know that agribusiness could provide a remedy to the problem of youth employment across Africa where 11 million young people entering the job market annually and only a small number–three million–secure gainful employment?
That is what Edson Mpyisi, Coordinator of Enable Youth Programme at African Development Bank, told participants attending a Ministerial Dialogue of the Conference on Land Policy in Africa in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
RELATED:We Are Nothing Without Women
Saying “Agriculture on the continent is expected to be a US$1 trillion value business by 2030,” Mpyisi said Africa cannot afford to leave the youth out “whichever sector you are working in, whatever policies and strategies you have.”
Utoni Nujoma, Minister of Land Reform in Namibia, concurred: “The agriculture sector offers more opportunities for youth.”
Nujoma called for youth to be empowered through opportunities to engage in agribusiness enterprises, calling the private sector to enhance skills development, training and mentorship of youth on the continent.
“It is therefore important our National Land policies address the issue of land governance so that the youth get gainful employment in agriculture sector and other related sectors, ” said Richard Oput of Uganda’s Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
The ministerial dialogue session of the conference concurred that African youth could change agriculture into agribusiness, a significant sector for Africa’s future employment creation.