Decent Rural Employment

G5 Sahel Regional Forum on Youth Resilience through their inclusion in agro-food systems - For and with the youth


Within the framework of the ‘’Building Resilience in the Sahel Region through Job Creation for Youth’’ project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the FAO organized, in partnership with the G5 Sahel Secretariat and facilitated by PROCASUR, the Regional Forum ‘’Youth Resilience through inclusion in agrifood systems’’. The event took place on May 25-26, 2022 in a virtual modality.  

The  activity brought together more than 50 youth participants from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger and more than 30 respective government representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture, Employment, Youth, Social Welfare, Livestock, Animal and Fishery Resources, Trade and Entrepreneurship, and the Ministry of Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change.

His Excellency, Ambassador Eric Yemdaogo Tiare, Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel opened the forum by stressing “the G5 Sahel aims to guarantee security through strategic frameworks of intervention that improve people’s living conditions, with particular focus on youth and women. We are working here together to make the youth of the G5 Sahel resilient, in a space of peace, prosperity and harmony”. Mr Alexandre Huynh, FAO Representative of Mauritania, also highlighted that “supporting youth organizations and spaces where they can express their challenges and needs in a constructive and participatory manner are prerequisites for stability in the Sahel.  FAO is working and will continue to work with various partners to support dialogue frameworks similar to this Forum”.

The event was an opportunity for rural youth in the region to virtually meet and dialogue with government representatives and regional and international organizations, to jointly identify their most urgent needs, as well as existing opportunities to strengthen their resilience. The forum and the connected discussions were clustered into five specific roundtables, presented by regional experts:  

  1. Access of youth to the assets and resources, presented by FAO;
  2. Youth access to decent work in fragile contexts, presented by  the International Labour Organization (ILO);
  3. Youth access to financing mechanisms, presented by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD);
  4. The role of youth in peacebuilding processes, presented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);
  5. Investments in agriculture and the inclusion of youth in the private sector, presented by the Mauritanian Agency for Investment Promotion (APIM).

The need for holistic actions at the government, community and individual levels, which respect the heterogeneity of youth and their contextual needs to engage in agrifood systems, are some of the key recommendations that emerged from the Regional Forum.  Moreover, it was also underlined the importance of reducing administrative burdens on youth access to financial mechanisms and land purchase, and of investing more in education adapted to the rural context and market demands.

The final recommendations originated from the discussions will form the basis for agreed common actions in the region, while contributing to the several G5 regional strategies and countries’ national policies related to youth in the agrifood systems, rural development, employment, and peace building.