To stress the importance of engaging youth in sustainable development, the UN organizes World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) on 15 July 2019. ICCO has chosen youth entrepreneurship as a top priority in its programs.
Rising youth unemployment is one of the most significant problems in today’s world. At least 475 million new jobs need to be created over the next decade to absorb the 73 million youth currently unemployed and the 40 million new annual entrants to the labour market. In many countries, the informal sector and traditional rural sector remain a major source of employment. The average age of African farmers is 60, while half of Africa’s population is under the age of 25. The issue does not only affect Africa, also in other continents perspectives of many youth are not rosy either.
Solutions must be tailor-made and found in the large informal economy. ICCO focuses on :
- Making work in the agrifood sector rewarding
- Matching the demands of employers by offering trained personnel
- Supporting small and medium enterprises
- Lobbying governments for a favorable agribusiness environment
All too often programs ignore the needs and opportunities of the young people themselves. Afterwards it is found that the wrong strategy has been chosen. That is why ICCO first conducts assessments.
Geodata and Geographical Information Systems
New technologies such as geodata and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) make food production more interesting for youth. ICCO also empowers youth to be employed or to become an entrepreneur by providing the tools to access essentials such as microfinance and market information.
ICCO’s approach fits in a worldwide effort to engage youth in sustainable development. The international community has set an ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Entrepreneurship, education and training are central to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.