Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa

Project Funder: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Overall IFAD Funding: USD$ 1,500,000

Project Duration: 3 years since October 2016

Consortium Members: CIMMYT, University of Sussex, ActionAID

Key Implementing Partners: Makerere University School of Women and Gender Studies and Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Brighton (UK).

Participating Countries: Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia

Uganda Partner Collaborators: Makerere University School of Women and Gender Studies, and Department of Agriculture Extension, Gulu University.

Project Synopsis

Unemployment and underemployment among young people[1] are critical issues in international development today and will remain so in years to come. This is particularly the case in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where large groups of youth are under 25. It is generally agreed that even under the most optimistic scenarios, the modern, primarily urban sectors of most if not all African economies will not be able to provide decent jobs for the growing numbers of young people who are set to enter SSA’s labour markets. There is also an emerging orthodoxy among policy makers and development professionals that the agricultural sector and the rural economy more broadly can provide a key to the problem of youth employment in Africa. However, in much of rural Africa, income generation opportunities within the rural economy are limited by deep structural constraints. The research project intends to generate robust evidence on the aspirations of rural youth in Africa and the ways in which they navigate livelihood opportunities.  

Uganda Implementing Districts: Luweero, Gulu and Kitgum.

IDS PI: Dr. James Sumberg

IDS East Africa Region PI: Dr. Marjoke Oosterom

Makerere University PI: Dr. Victoria Namugala

Gulu University PI: Prof. Okello Ouma

Ugandan Research Team: Dr. Victoria Flavia Namuggala (MAK-SWGS), Dr. Prossy Isubikalu (MAK-Department of Agricultural extension), Mr. David Mpiima (MAK-SWGS) and Prof. Okello Ouma from Gulu University.