Africa has the largest population of young people in the world, with 226 million people aged between 15 to 24 years. Every year, young graduates from schools and colleges seek to enter the continents workforce, often with no success. What role can the agriculture play in addressing the unemployment challenge in Africa? According to a World Bank report on Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness, Africas farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods. National governments, however, need to work side-by-side with agribusinesses, to link farmers with consumers in an increasingly urbanized Africa.
To stimulate discussions on developing a framework for concrete youth engagement in agribusiness in a changing climate, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock, the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN), AgriProFocus and ICCO Cooperation put together an online discussion and a webinar. The online discussion which attracted 79 comments ran for one month to commemorate World Youth Skills Day (15 July) and International Youth Day (12 August) and culminated in a webinar attended by 80 participants (30 August). A key message from the online discussion and the webinar is the need to address the negative perception towards agriculture.