Theme: African Youth in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development
Aim and scope of Nature & Faune magazine: Nature & Faune is a peer-reviewed open access international bilingual (English and French) publication of the FAO Regional Office for Africa. Its aim is to disseminate information (scientific and technical knowledge) and promote the exchange of experiences on wildlife, protected area management and the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources in Africa. The ultimate goal is to contribute to enhancing natural resources management for food security in Africa. It is currently produced twice a year under the coordination of the Senior Forestry Officer at the FAO Regional Office for Africa.
The editorial board is particularly interested in manuscripts about experiences, lessons learned and challenges faced, as well as in innovative practices which can enhance the sustainable management of natural resources, especially activities in wildlife management, forestry, fisheries, land, water and nature conservation. Announcements of funding opportunities, research possibilities, meetings or other activities of interest are also welcomed for posting in the magazine.
Subject and deadlines for next issue: The next edition of Nature & Faune magazine will feature short articles that address the broad theme of “African Youth in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development”. This is consistent with the magazine’s mission of enhancing natural resource management for food security. There is consensus that a strong involvement of Africa’s youth in rural development through agriculture and natural resources management will boost food security in the continent.. However, youth participation in the two sectors in many African countries is very low, largely because of the misperception that agriculture and natural resources are outdated fields with minimal financial returns. Moreover the agriculture sector is highly unattractive to Africa’s youth because of its labor intensive nature, while the natural resources sector takes time to yield benefits. The sectors are also bedeviled with problems such as difficulties in accessing land and finance without collateral; high risks, costs and inefficiency. As such, motivating the youth to view agriculture and natural resources management as career opportunities will require multi-level interventions. This poor participation of Africa’s youth is a critical threat to future food security; and therefore must be urgently addressed.
About 65% of the total population of Africa is below the age of 35 years, and over 35% is between the ages of 15 and 35 years - making Africa the most youthful continent. By 2020, it is projected that out of 4 people in the African continent, 3 will be on average 20 years old. About 10 million young Africans arrive each year on the labor market. The United Nations defines youth as young men and women from age 15 through 24. For the purpose of the upcoming edition of Nature & Faune, the term youth includes the group of young people, male and female, married or single, from age 15 through 24. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that almost 50 percent of all employed youth in the age-group 1517 are involved in the worst forms of child labour, often in the agricultural sector. In order to avoid rural poverty, many youths have migrated to urban areas in search of better job opportunities. However, they face several challenges in finding employment in urban cities; and those who find a job usually work in the informal sector with poor pay, low job security and insufficient social protection.
It is thus widely acknowledged that Africa’s youth have a poor record of participating meaningfully in agriculture and natural resources management, yet credible strategies for addressing the issue are not being adequately and systematically sought. Any attempt to addressing it, must ensure that youth, the key stakeholder group in this process, is adequately involved. In addition, Africa’s youth can provide an efficient, innovative and productive labour force for rural development through agriculture and natural resources management if they are well-educated and appropriately skilled. In order to seek evidence-based strategies for addressing the challenges, a series of questions need to be answered: How will Africa prepare its youth to become active contributors to the rural development processes of their countries and be formally involved in national development agenda? What role could education play in addressing the myriad of challenges and removing barriers to effective African youth contribution to rural development through agriculture and natural resources management? How can Africa use approaches and mechanisms that aim at leveraging the forces of globalization for the benefit of its rural youth populations? From the perspective of banking, what are the incentives banks and other financial institutions need to effectively support and strengthen the rural and urban youth in agriculture and rural development? What measures and strategies are needed to bring the voice of the youth to the table and to advocate for greater youth engagement and representation?
The editorial board is inviting authors to contribute articles that examine the above questions and other relevant ones from various perspectives and also to analyze the rural youth situation in Africa and outline the potential for their active participation in the agricultural and natural resources fields and rural development. You are most welcome to share your experiences, thoughts and ideas on what needs to be done at local, national, regional and international levels to support young Africans to deliver their full potential in rural development through agriculture and natural resources management.
Guidelines and instructions for submitting manuscripts are available at our website. Short and succinct papers (1500 words or 3 pages) are preferred. Visit our website or send us an email to receive a copy of the ‘Guidelines for authors.’ Please send us your paper(s) by email to the following addresses:
Deadline for submission of manuscript(s) and other contributions is 1st November 2013
Mrs. Ada Ndeso-Atanga
Nature & Faune Magazine
RAFT Natural resources – Fisheries – Forestry
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
FAO Regional Office for Africa
P.O. Box GP 1628, Accra, Ghana
Tel.: (+233-302) 675000 Extension 41605/(+233-302) 610930 Extension 41605
Cellular phone #: +233-208 175 145/ +233 246 889 567
Fax: (+233-302) 7010943/(+233-302) 668 427