The Future of Food in Africa

Young people discuss strategies to end hunger and form a platform to stand for their rights.

Agriculture is the biggest employer of Africa’s youth. Governments want to create 30% of jobs for youth via investments in the sector by 2025 and are encouraging young people to engage in agriculture. Yet have failed to enact policies that facilitate youth access to the land, they need to develop this promising sector. Generally, African policymakers have not given youth enough space to influence land governance processes.

A new forum of African youth leaders has been found to influence African governments to include young people in land and agricultural processes. Formed in December 2019, during the “shaping the future of food system in Africa” event organised by Slow Food, a member of the International Land Coalition (ILC), with the support of HIVOS, in Nakuru, Kenya, the “African Youth Leaders for Inclusive and Sustainable Food Systems” wants to bring youth voices on food security and land governance at the highest levels.

The event aimed at building the capacity of young activists brought youth leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia to the discuss the future of food systems in Africa.

The platform allowed ILC Africa members to share perspectives on how to fix Africa’s food systems. The Resource Conflict Institute (RECONCILE) and the Program for the Integration and Development of the Pygmy People (PIDP) shared experiences how providing young people tenure security can play a key role in strengthening Africa’s agricultural value chains and promote sustainable development.

In its contribution during the exchange, RECONCILE indicated that variations in weather threaten the livelihoods of indigenous people and local communities. According to Ken Otieno, the Technical Coordinator, Rangelands Initiative Africa/RECONCILE, climate change poses an existential threat to pastoral and indigenous communities. That is why RECONCILE’s position during the exchange was for communities to preserve scarce natural resources and adopt new skills and technologies that enable them to cope with the impending situation. RECONCILE recommended that while communities should diversify farming and adopt drought-tolerant crops, governments should develop policies that guarantee effective governance of land.