Youth urged to tap into food systems for jobs at global forum
The International Young Farmers Summit opened in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, on Monday with a call on youth to take leadership roles and tap into food systems for jobs.
The week-long event held under the theme “Youth in agricultural transformation through innovation” convened young farmers’ representatives from the five continents to discuss their challenges and difficulties as well as solutions.
Agriculture is a strategic sector for creating employment opportunities for young people, reducing poverty, and contributing to Africa’s development, said Janet Edeme, Acting Director of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission.
Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwandan Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources said in Africa, agriculture accounts for 32 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and creates 65 percent of jobs, meaning developing the continent requires developing the agriculture sector given that it occupies a larger share of African economies.
“At least 70 percent of African citizens are under 30 years old. For the African agriculture transformation, youth need to occupy leadership roles in all its aspects. The African food system is an untapped reservoir of youth employment opportunities,” she said.
The forum offers an opportunity for young farmers to present their proposals for the future of agriculture worldwide before representatives of international organizations, the agricultural world, and civil society in order to promote, strengthen and spread the voice of young farmers in the international arena.