Did you know agriculture will likely continue to be the dominant sector of employment for most young people over the next few decades in Africa? Africa south of the Sahara has the world’s youngest and fastest growing population and contributes one-quarter to one-third of the African GDP but employs 65-75 percent of the labor force. In order for African agriculture to absorb large numbers of new job seekers and offer meaningful work with public and private benefits, constraints to land, capital and skills must be addressed and new programs that make agriculture more youth-friendly and innovative must be implemented.
Boosting agricultural productivity levels among smallholder farmers is essential to addressing food security issues in the region. West Africa has made significant progress in forging responses that represent best practices. Building resilience will also require continued commitment to the CAADP investment and policy renewal agenda, including greater cross-border trade as well as improved management of public-sector expenditures, so as to maximize their impact on labor productivity among the poor and vulnerable.
In 2012, the world food system continued to be in a vulnerable position. As the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals approaches, even the modest goal of halving the proportion of people suffering from hunger is not on track. A number of countries made important and promising changes in food-related policies, and the global community made noteworthy commitments to strengthen aspects of food security. What remains is for these commitments to be translated into action.
Drawing on rigorous research and sound evidence, IFPRI’s 2012 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR) discusses major food policy developments in 2012 that contributed to or hindered progress in food and nutrition security. You can also watch the launch of the event by clicking here or view by visiting IFPRI’s press room.