SID Youth Livelihoods and Agricultural Transformation Project Updates

In March 2015, SID convened a research workshop for stakeholders of the YLAT project. The research and conceptualization workshop on “Youth Livelihoods, Employment and Agricultural Transformation: Institutional Strengthening and Policy Dialogue in East Africa” was held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania between March 11th-13th 2015 at the Landmark Hotel, Mbezi Beach. The three-day workshop was designed to have participants develop an active research agenda that would be aimed at studying key issues informing changes in the agricultural domain and their impact on livelihoods, with a particular emphasis on youth employment.

Through an approach that would begin with a diagnosis of key driving forces shaping agriculture in Eastern Africa, the participants examined the policy responses to the driving forces and their impact. They also reflected on what spaces exist for the youth and how to build upon emergent (and existing) opportunities for young people, particularly considering the current burden of youth unemployment and the challenge of ensuring food security in the region.

In terms of outputs from the meeting participants agreed to commission 6 thematic papers (regional) and work on the national youth profiles in house at (SID) these have all been done. Some of the thematic areas that the research focused on include: Fisheries, Livestock, Genetic resources among others. You can read more on from the March 2015 meeting in the report from this workshop here.

Within the EAC region the youth constitute the highest percentage of the population and also the highest percentage of the unemployed. This situation continues to plague African economies and SID through this initiative is interrogating the status quo after which the findings of this research will generate a set of recommendations which will be presented to policy makers at regional and national level.

We are now at the stage where authors are incorporating comments from the first internal reviews following which the regional dialogues will soon start.  The dialogues are an interesting opportunity for regional actors to add their voice to this important discourse which is working to transform the livelihoods of youth within the large agricultural sector which is the mainstay of the African economy. Look out for our calendar of events as we set of in the months of October, November and December 2015 for the regional dialogues in the East African community. We intend to hold two dialogues in each country one at national lelve (capital city) and another out of capital. These dialogues will be used to present the findings of the thematic studies to representatives of different sector (such as civil society, academia, policy making, private sector),  who will then have an opportunity to critique and share their contributions.


Photo: Holger Wirth