Graziano Da Silva calls for the engagement of youths in the bid to develop Africa
Speaking before a joint African-European Union meeting, hosted at FAO headquarters in Rome, today, 3rd of July, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization José Graziano da Silva called on government to integrate youths into her schemes for effective development of Africa. According to APO, Graziano da Silva noted that: “Youth employment should be at the center of any strategy to face economic and demographic challenges in Africa.”
APO reports that: “In 2014 alone, about 11 million young Africans entered the labor market. But many see few opportunities in the agriculture sector and are constrained by a lack of skills, low wages, and limited access to land and financial services. Combined, this makes them more prone to migrate from rural areas.”
According to Graziano da Silva: “Fostering sustainable agriculture and rural development is essential to absorb these millions of youth looking for a job,” And: “A sustainable world can only be achieved with the full engagement of young people. They must feel integrated and believe that a more peaceful and prosperous world is possible.”
The Director-General highlighted five core agenda to the realization of this end. He called for the enhancement of “youth participation and leadership in producer organizations and other rural institutions to empower them to engage in policy dialogue”. He also called for the stimulation of “private sector investments to create a modern and dynamic agricultural sector and value chains, and to build infrastructure needed for agricultural investments.”
Graziano da Silva in his talk further called for government’s provision of better services such as electricity, education and health, in rural areas. In the same vein, he urged government to “strengthen the physical, economic, social and political links between small urban centres and their surrounding rural areas”.
In concluding his talk, he laid emphasis on the need for ICT in the narrative of any developing state. He thereby called for more investment in “Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) which has the potential to improve efficiency in some farm work and facilitate access to markets, information and business opportunities.”
It is hereby hoped that tangible and significant development will be noticed if Graziano da Silva’s suggestions are considered since, according to APO, FAO is supporting the implementation of many programs that target youth in rural areas.
Correspondent: Olayiwola A. Ridwan