UN: FAO, AU partner on job opportunities for African rural youth

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has partnered with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to generate job and business opportunities for young people in rural Benin, Cameroon, Malawi, and Niger.

PANA in New York reports that the partnership followed a US$4 million grant from the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund.

The partnership agreement was signed on Wednesday by FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva and NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA) Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Assane Mayaki.

They noted that the partnership will enable the four countries to create and implement policies in support of enterprise development in rural areas.

“This joint effort seeks to promote decent rural youth employment and entrepreneurship in agriculture and agribusiness, and it represents another important example of an African-led cooperation initiative that seeks to safeguard food security and livelihoods on the continent,” said Mr. Graziano da Silva.

NEPAD’s Mr. Mayaki said that the Africa Agenda 2063, the 50-year agenda to build a prosperous and united Africa, is largely dependent upon “the transformation of rural areas supported by capacitated young entrepreneurs along the food chain”.

Over the next three years, funds from the project will be used to ensure that young people, and especially women, have better access to the rural economy, which includes decent job creation in farming and non-farming sectors through public and private investments.

Through the project, Benin, Cameroon, Malawi and Niger will adopt national action plans on youth employment and skills development for people in rural economic value chains.

More broadly, the project seeks to foster policy dialogue among countries, regional organizations, development and resource partners.

NEPAD is an economic development programme of the African Union (AU) adopted in 2001 in Lusaka, Zambia.

It aims to provide an overarching vision and policy framework for accelerating economic co-operation and integration among African countries.

FAO and NEPAD’s partnership also supports the 2014 Malabo Declaration, a promise by AU leaders to achieve certain agricultural sector goals by 2025. Among these is a commitment to improve youth employment in Africa’s rural regions by 30 percent, especially by strengthening agricultural value chains.

Another is to prioritize opportunities for women and rural youth.

The project launch came just after the International Day of Rural Women, on which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasised the need to secure rural women’s rights and opportunities in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
-0- PANA AA/MA 20Oct2016

20 october 2016 05:31:55

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