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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO Director-General at UNGA side event: “African youth is keen to engage in non-traditional rural activities”

Graziano da Silva joins international commitment to enhance industrialization in Africa

FAO Director-General speaking at the event “The Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa: From political commitment to actions on the ground

21 September 2017, New York - “Africa’s youth is keen to engage in non-traditional rural activities and agro industrial jobs such as tourism, retail and services. Fostering sustainable agriculture and rural development is essential to building economies that can support these millions of young people looking for a job,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.

FAO Director-General addressed African leaders, UN officials and representatives of international finance institutions and the private sector at the event The Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa: From political commitment to actions on the ground”, held on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly. The gathering aimed to maintain momentum behind an international partnership looking to help Africa industrialize in a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable manner.

Unemployment and poverty are serious concerns for the continent, where more than 70 percent of the working age population is unemployed or has no job security. This is why the UN has declared 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III).

In 2014 alone, about 11 million young Africans entered the labour 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. In combination, these makes them more prone to migrate from rural areas in search of opportunities elsewhere. 

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