Agriculture Alone Cannot Address The Youth Unemployment Crisis
Farmer's Weekly|April 2, 2021
Africa remains the youngest continent in the world, with almost 60% of its population under the age of 25.
Dr Tinashe Kapuya

With much of this population set to enter the labour market over the coming decade, this scenario has been viewed as an immense opportunity, but also a ‘ticking time bomb’ given the growth of joblessness across many countries in Africa.

It has been particularly difficult for governments to create a policy environment that can absorb enough of the youth into the economy.

According to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which focuses on enhancing governance and leadership in Africa, 16 million young Africans, who account for around 13,4% of the total labour force within the 15- to 24-year-old age range, still face unemployment.

RELIANCE ON AGRICULTURE

In the recent past, emerging sentiment has looked to the agriculture sector as a key source of jobs to find a solution to the youth unemployment challenge.

The rationale has been that the sector is uniquely positioned to accommodate a relatively large share of unskilled and semi-skilled youth. This means that, with strategic and deliberate policy interventions, the sector could potentially develop the capacity to employ young people at a relatively low cost.

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