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AGA 2018 – Day 1


“Young and ready to move – empowering the new generation in the rural space”

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Empowering the young for a sustainable rural space

More than a hundred participants from around the world gathered in Berlin on June 13-14 for the Annual General Assembly (AGA) of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development to discuss the strategic perspectives on the role of donors and international development agencies in empowering young people in rural areas.


The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development organised its AGA 2018 with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The title of the event hints on hot policy areas for donors these days – “Young and ready to move – empowering the new generation in the rural space”.

The background to the thematic discussions was the Rural Youth Employment Initiative, to which governments and heads of states voted on at the G20 summit in 2017. This historic vote signalled a clear political commitment of the international community to improve the efforts to empower youth in rural areas.

Bringing young voices in the discussion

From the first day on, the AGA 2018 had an innovative format: it brought young women and men from rural areas and the donor and development community to dialogue about ways to youth empowerment and making ARD programmes and private sector engagement more youth-responsive. What matters the most for the youth empowerment in the rural space? The discussion about these key priorities brought the young generation of agriculturalists on stage to share their views.

Later on, the panel Joint Donor and Youth Think-Tank brought this discussion onto a new arrangement. Donors joined young people on the stage. The primary goal: finding ways to better align programmes and policies supported by the international community with the priorities of the young rural generation.

Many members and partners of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development are already walking the talk. One of the highlights of the first day of AGA 2018 was the presentation of the Compendium “Donor engagement with youth”, commissioned by the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development in preparation for the AGA 2018. The study can be found in the Downloads section below. In the afternoon, participants split into four working groups. The results of these discussions were then again summarised in the plenary. For further information about the working groups, please scroll down to the Downloads section.

Mahedere Adimasu, manager of the Maheder food processing PLC, and Hernan Manson, from the International Trade Centre (ITC), offered at the end key takeaway messages:

  • Many challenges that young people in rural areas face are interlinked. Responding to these challenges requires systems thinking.

  • Donors need to generate an environment for private sector integration.

  • Social media can be effectively used to communicate valuable information to the young people.

  • Farmers need be to empowered in the changing world. Donors can support this by providing basic and technical education, enhance farmers’ capacities to learn, innovate and adapt.