Africa’s youth population, already the highest in the world, is expected to double by 2045. High unemployment rates continue to be a major challenge that can turn this demographic group into a ticking time bomb, if left unmitigated.
As more people migrate to cities, the demand on food is growing substantially, creating many employment opportunities in the agriculture and agro-processing sectors. However these opportunities remain underexplored and underutilised by youth and policy-actors alike.
The Utafti Sera house on Youth Employment in Agriculture and Agro-processing in Kenya was inaugurated on December 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya. The House is hosted by the Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE). It seeks to use research evidence to enhance policy processes and outcomes on youth employment in the agriculture and agro-processing sectors. Its membership include policy makers in the national and devolved governments, policy makers in the ministries working with youth (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Development, training and vocational education institutions) development partners, donors, Non-Governmental Organizations, academic institutions, the private sector and youth farmers and innovators.
The thematic focus of this house was inspired by the outcomes of previous Utafiti Sera discussions on Employment in the Sugar and Horticulture industry in Kenya and Nigeria 2015 – 2017. During these discussions, stakeholders’ came to the realisation that comprehensive data on employment opportunities for youth and best practices is limited despite the endorsement of many policies and programmes promoting youth employment by African policy-makers. It was also realised that youth are often marginalised in conversations around wage employment at both policy and programme level. This Utafiti Sera house seeks to address these concerns bridging the gap between youth, researchers and policy-makers to identify and promote best practices in youth employment initiatives in agriculture and agro-processing.
Since its establishment, the house has been focused on establishing an apprenticeship framework for youth in formal and informal employment in agriculture, enhancing skills, providing access to capital and microcredit and changing misplaced perceptions regarding agriculture employment among youth.
Utafiti Sera on Employment in Agriculture and Horticulture (Phase 1)