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Stakeholders agree to boost youth employment in West African agrifood systems

Stakeholders at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Subregional Office for West Africa (SFWs) 14th multidisciplinary team meeting agree to boost youth employment in West African agrifood systems

In an attempt to transform West African agrifood systems and address challenges concerning youth and women in the region, more than 200 SFW stakeholders and partners proceeded with reviewing opinions and solutions, along with partnership development and resource mobilisation opportunities. 

Despite several initiatives, programmes and projects aimed at the installation or integration of young people in the agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries sector over the past 15 years, challenges and issues regarding youth employability continue to persist. This is why Robert Guéi, FAO sub-regional coordinator for West Africa, launched this appeal: Lets make West Africa a land of opportunity for youth and women to build a better life for themselves while contributing to more productive agrifood systems.

During the three days of exchanges, the experiences of agricultural entrepreneurship of young people in West Africa and elsewhere, through testimonies of young agripreneurs on their motivation, were shared. Adapted solutions, current challenges and opportunities as well as employment prospects for young people in the agroforestry and fisheries sector in West African countries were also discussed.

The MDT14 was an appropriate framework for exchanges between the FAO SFW and the FAO Country Offices in the sub-region, on the one hand, and between FAO, governments, sub-regional economic communities and specialised institutions, civil society and the private sector, on the other. Furthermore, success stories and best practices in Senegal were shared, along with previous years achievements and action plans for 2023, that were presented during the panel discussions.