Decent Rural Employment


Senegal is one of the most stable countries in Africa, which since 2014 has grown at an average rate of 6 percent, driven by public investment in agriculture and infrastructure.

However, despite the country's efforts to fight poverty and inequality, poverty still affects 35.6 percent of the population. Unemployment, especially among women (22 per cent) and young people (16 per cent), low employability linked to the mismatch between training and labor market needs, limited access social security, and low incomes remain significant challenges.

Addressing the question of youth employment is particularly urgent given that 20 percent of the population is in the 15-24 age group, and more than 60 percent is below 24.

The agri-food sector could be better harnessed to contribute to job creation. The domestic demand for agricultural products is very dynamic, driven by public spending and household income, including migrants' remittances. In addition, agricultural development is at the heart of Government priorities, especially concerning rice self-sufficiency, groundnut production and horticulture.

See also: ICA Senegal Rapid Context Analysis at:

ICA priority entry points

  • In collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, in particular with the Agence Nationale pour la Promotion de l’Emploi des Jeunes (ANPEJ), consolidate the MIJA platforms model, which is a network of rural hubs for training, incubation and agribusiness support.
  • Strengthen the MIJA training package with agribusiness elements, and train at least 100 additional youth, including return migrants.
  • Continue to advocate for a dedicated strategy on rural youth employment, within the National Employment Policy.
  • Support existing youth groups and networks to boost their contribution to responsible investments, including the established Réseau Africain pour la promotion de l’entrepreneuriat agricole (RAPEA network).

COVID-19: Voices of young agripreneurs in Senegal


In Senegal, the COVID-19 youth engagement initiative promoted by FAO was launched through various groups of young agripreneurs across the country and through the national youth council, Conseil National de la Jeunesse du Sénégal (CNJS).

The CNJS gathers youth organizations with its regional and departmental chapters, and serves as the interface between young people, government institutions, civil society and development partners and aims at enhancing youth participation in policy making and programme design.

Jean Bernard Diatta is the president of the Conseil Départemental de la Jeunesse (CDJ) in Oussouye. He is also a field agent of the Projet APTE-Sénégal working to bridge the school-to-work transition through work readiness and entreprenurship services for students, as well as professional development for school teachers and administrators.

In this video, Jean Bernard shares his perspective on how Covid-19 affected CDJ activities in the department of Oussouye, discusses the actions taken by CDJ member youth organizations against the pandemic and makes suggestions about possible responses.

The lockdown has caused the interruption of field work and slowed down CDJ interventions such as entrepreneurship trainings for youth. However, the organization continues to encourage youth-led businesses to increase their production. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, CDJ has engaged in awareness raising of youth and the wider population, and is working to put in place hand washing devices in each household of the department.

To reinforce youths’ actions against COVID-19, Jean Bernard suggests closer communication among presidents of the different CDJs and youth associations in order to exchange information and create watchdog committees in each area of the department of Oussouye, as it shares borders with the Republic of Guinea. He also recommends post COVID-19 measures to help youth cope with the impact of the pandemic.

Video message from Gorgui Faye, President and coordinator of African Network for the promotion of agricultural entrepreneurship (RAPEA in French)

Gorgui Faye, President and coordinator of African Network for the promotion of agricultural entrepreneurship (RAPEA in French), wanted to share a message with his fellow youth who today wish to engage in agripreneurship. You could also read the complete interview to Gorgui here!