Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

2nd Africa Rural Development Forum

8 - 10 September 2016. Yaoundé, Cameroon. The NEPAD Agency with the support of and in collaboration with OECD, CIRAD and other partners including FAO, GIZ and AfDB hosted the 2nd Africa Rural Development Forum under the theme “Transforming Africa’s Rural Space through Youth Empowerment, Job Creation and Skills Development.

The Conference provided a platform for exchange and peer learning on experiences and insights in catalyzing and fostering job creation and skills development in rural based agri and non-agri-systems as key components to advance rural development.


  • To raise awareness of the magnitude of the challenges that Africa is facing in coming decades; as well as the need for transformational development strategies based on multi-sectoral, place-based and participatory approaches, for job creation.
  • To review and share lessons on available tools and methodologies for designing and implementing multi-sectoral, place-based, and participatory strategies and projects for youth employment.
  • To support the potential creation of added value and decent jobs for young people in the informal economy, and to propose relevant measures and public policies to achieve the ambitions structural transformation of Africa economies on the basis of sectors and niches, and their training and skills needs and inclusive financing for youth and entrepreneurs.
  • To support member states in aligning employment policies with their growth and development agenda
  1. Yaounde Declaration and Plan of Action. (2016, 3 pages) A blueprint to implement rural development policies in Africa has been endorsed. The document serves as a vehicle for advancing rural transformation across the continent and to accelerate the pace towards the visions of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 – a strategy to optimize use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans. The blueprint, will support member states and regional players towards an integrated, cross-
    sectorial, and coherent set of actions based on local realities, priorities and a shared African vision and narrative.
  2. The Second Edition of the Atlas was also launched under the theme “A new Emerging Rural World: An Overview of rural Change in Africa” providing information and analysis on cross-sectorial factors and dynamics to inform public policy debates and decisions on rural transformation.
  3. Policy paper: Position Paper on Skills Developmentfor Youth and Women Employment. (2016, 10 pages)
    Ten case studies in different countries were conducted to better understand a particular aspect which is the development of skills in the employment service.
    The country studies assessed the different programme structures, financing arrangements, employability and successful integration of graduates into sustainable jobs and addressed the
    emerging issues and their influence on overall skills development particularly in the agriculture sector.
    Strategic to NEPAD transformation vision in this study was the aspect of the high growth potential of green economy related jobs as a result of increased climate change regulation and the need to develop energy efficient and renewable resources to replace traditional biomass source of energy that has negative impacts both on health as well as on ecology (deforestation).
    The paper defines strategic directions focused on skills development for youth employment and women and that will be discussed at the 2nd Africa Rural Development Forum to be presented to African policy makers at the AU Summit in January 2017.
Download the Concept note and tentative agenda.

Extracts of the programme:
High level Panel Discussion on Youth Empowerment and Job Creation for Rural Transformation in Africa 
Moderator: Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki Panellists
  1. Mr Bukar Tijani, ADG/Regional Representative for Africa, FAO 
  2. Mr Michael Hailu – Director, CTA 
  3. Dr Kanyawo Nwanze – President, IFAD 
  4. AFD representative 5. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cameroon 
  5. Tony Elumelo (The Tony Elumelo Foundation ) 
  6. Gugile Nkwinti, Minister, Rural Development and Land Reform, South Africa
NEPAD CEO Ibrahim Assane Mayaki
The 26th Session of the African Union Summit and the 20th AU Assembly decision, endorsed the
African Rural Development Forum (ARDF) as the continental platform for innovative thinking on African development pathways. 
  • This led to the organization of the Inaugural Africa Rural Development Forum (ARDF) by the NEPAD Agency in collaboration with “Agence Française de Développement” (AFD), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). 
  • The 1st Forum was hosted by the Republic of Benin in May, 2013 under the theme “Sustainable Rural Transformation Agenda for Africa”.
  • The 2nd Forum was prepared by an experts meeting on “Rural and Regional Policies for Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Africa” (NEPAD-OECD-AFD-CIRAD) held in Paris on 30th March 2016
  • In the context of youth employment and its attendant dynamics (rural development, farming systems and agriculture food markets, food consumption both domestically and internationally; rural development and agribusiness), especially in Africa, agricultural development along the value chain offers one of the opportunities to create the best impetus for engaging emerging ‘African youth’ for inclusive growth in Africa.
On May 6th 2016,Mrs Martha STEIN-SOCHAS, Regional director for Southern Africa at AFD
(French Development Agency) and Dr Ibrahim MAYAKI, CEO of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) signed a 0.5 M€ grant to support NEPAD’s Rural Futures Programme.

The grant will support the organisation of the second Rural Forum. The AFD’s grant will also fund studies and a platform of knowledge sharing over a period of two years.

Rural Futures Programme also benefits from the support of CIRAD - the French agricultural research and international cooperation organization. CIRAD notably supported the atlas on rural development on the continent, A New Emerging Rural World – An Overview of Rural Change in Africa – with the financial support of AFD.

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