National consultant for New Partnership for Africa Development Programme (NEPAD) Wales Singini has said Africas’ Rural Youth Programme will help reduce unemployment levels in the country and further build their capacity in order for them to integrate and penetrate through the industry.
Speaking on the sidelines at the on-going 2nd Africa Rural Development Forum currently taking place in Younde, Singini said theres a large percentage of out of school youths in the country who are struggling to find employment.
“What this program will do is to work with institutions which specialize in agribusiness. These institutions already have youths they work with, so with our programs whose intention is to not only
build capacity but also agribusiness,” he said.
Singini who is also dean of faculty at Mzuzu University further said, several institutions across the country have already been identified for the program.
Director of programme implementation and coordination directorate at NEPAD Estherine Lisinge-Fotabang further said global challenges of food insecurity, climate variability, urbanization and population explosion, continue to exert pressure on rural spacing.
“ The combined burden of a youth bulge and shrinking job market have left millions of young people jobless, underemployed and excluded from economic opportunities. The proportion of rural youth is decreasing in all sub-regions as well as the absolute number of rural youth, with the exception of sub- Saharan Africa where their number will continue to increase until 2030 or 2040. Accordingly Sub-Saharan Africa faces peculiar and unique challenges for the next decades in securing decent livelihoods and employment for young people in both urban and rural areas, but in particular in the latter,” she said.
Fotabang further said meaningful economic transformation remains a major development challenge in Africa as growth rates have not translated into high levels of employment and reductions in poverty
for the youth and those in the rural areas of our continent.
“Therefore, to enhance job creation and harness skills development opportunities in Africa particularly for the rural youth a clear strategy is needed to harness consistently the full potential of overall economic growth for inclusive rural transformation that covers the three different but interrelated dimensions.
“The first is the economic dimension that encompasses providing both capacity and opportunities for the poor and low-income rural households in particular to benefit from the economic growth process
in such a way that their average incomes grow at a higher rate than the growth of average incomes in the sector as a whole,” she said.