Addressing Africa’s youth employment and food security crisis: The role of African agriculture in job creation
In this knowledge sharing interview (PDF), the former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, discusses the critical factors responsible for food insecurity and youth unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa. He argues that there are numerous actions that governments could take to address obstacles for youth to get involved in agriculture. He believes that removing these obstacles can prevent both massive youth unemployment and food insecurity in Africa. His recommendations are that policymakers should ensure agriculture provides the lifestyle and status that young people desire and expect. In addition, the land tenure system needs to be modernized and conducive finance and reasonable interest rates for agricultural loans need to be arranged. Also, hard and soft infrastructure needs to be provided to promote agribusiness and value addition to agriculture produce. Policymakers should also promote and develop successful young farmers as role models for other youth. He also concludes that agricultural policies should be strategic and sustainable and not change with every new government.