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Together they are stronger: In many African countries, young men and women are coming together to form youth organisations. These organisations help young people in rural areas to earn a living in the agricultural and food sector, creating prospects for the future in rural areas.
Members of youth organisations work together to develop new, in-demand occupations and business ideas, such as fitters for solar irrigation systems in Malawi, sellers of local grilled chicken from mobile street stalls in Kenya, or suppliers of organic compost made from industrial mango waste in Burkina Faso.
Youth organisations often act as catalysts for their members' successful agribusinesses. They provide support services to strengthen their agribusinesses and motivate young people to think and act innovatively.
The National Youth Council of Malawi has provided training to 43 youth clubs in Mchinji, Ntchisi and Mzimba districts to strengthen their institutional capacity and improve support services to their members. These trainings focus, among other things, on the different agricultural value chains along which the youth clubs operate
says Felix Chiyenda, Programme Officer of the National Youth Council of Malawi.
Other youth organisations, for example, carry out market analyses, provide training in developing innovative business ideas and mentoring programmes, act as a platform for savings and credit services, or raise awareness of social issues such as gender equality and women's empowerment. In this way, they not only strengthen the agri-food sector, but also provide their members with attractive and livelihood-enhancing jobs.
We want to support the youth clubs by showing them opportunities and networking them with other actors. This is also in line with the national development strategy 'Malawi 2063', which focuses on youth. This is the basis for unlocking the huge potential for youth employment and self-employment in Malawi's agri-food sector
says Felix Chiyenda.
A supported youth organisation has launched a pioneering project focusing on community farming and cooperation. By building a warehouse and sharing farm space, they are enabling their members to pool their resources and market high quality groundnut and soya beans, as well as vegetables and poultry as a group. This collaborative approach helps to produce market-relevant quantities and to meet the demands of large buyers reliably and at the time they are needed.
In Western Kenya, several youth organisations are dedicated to the professional production of passion fruit seedlings. Not only do they provide a valuable service within the value chain, but they also act as intermediaries to connect young people with internships and professional contacts in companies. At the same time, they help their members with access to finance.
In addition to these economic activities, youth organisations also play an important role in lobbying. For example, they bring the needs and concerns of young people into political planning processes. This ensures that young people's interests are heard at the political level. Dialogue formats also provide opportunities for young people to actively participate in policy discussions and to present their views. In Malawi, the National Youth Council was established for this purpose. The aim of this institution is to promote the voice and economic participation of young people and youth organisations. This holistic approach enables youth organisations to stimulate sustainable change and positively shape the future of young people in Africa.
International Youth Day (12th Ausgust) provides a special opportunity to highlight the importance of youth organisations for sustainable change in rural areas. It also helps organisations to exchange ideas with like-minded people in order to successfully shape this change.
Do you want to know more about what youth organisations from Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique learned from each other and what they plan to do differently? Here you can find impressions and information about the exchange of youth organisations in Africa.
For more information on youth employment in rural areas, click here:
Rural Employment - SNRD Africa
Promoting employment for young people in rural areas