UNIDO fosters sustainable youth employment in Africa
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has taken part in the Regional Youth Conference in Rwanda, which discussed youth employment in agriculture as a means to ending hunger and poverty in Africa.
Co-organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources of the Republic of Rwanda, the African Union and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the conference confirmed the relevance of UNIDO’s work in youth employment and entrepreneurship for inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID).
In addition to the promotion of entrepreneurship, ICT innovations in agri-food systems were discussed to realize opportunities for youth, and the application of digital solutions to overcome agriculture value-chain related constraints was presented.
UNIDO Director General LI Yong stressed the importance of integrating youth in the agriculture sector, particularly in rural areas, to address the challenge of decent and sustainable employment that is coupled with rapid urbanization and work-related migration.
Li added: “this will require a transformation of food systems and the adoption of innovative technologies for gainful opportunities for manufacturing and processing industries. A modernized agricultural sector can present opportunities for young women and men in entrepreneurship, or agri-preneurship.”
LI Yong also applauded the efforts of African leaders in pushing the industrialization agenda as stipulated by the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III) and the Agenda 2063 for Africa.
At a special event hosted by UNIDO, which was attended by more than 300 young people, the Director General discussed how the Organization supports youth employment in the region, especially in agriculture and agri-based industries.
“UNIDO focuses on creating an enabling ecosystem for youth-led entrepreneurship through direct assistance at policy level and by building the capacities of intermediary support structures,” said Li. “UNIDO also ensures that young people have access to adequate services, including access to finance, skills development opportunities, networks and markets.”