Rural population is growing. Statistics show that as of now 3,5 billion people live in rural areas. The process of urbanisation attracts more and more people, especially youth, to the cities, most of them move to urban areas because of lack of opportunities in rural areas. This trend should be a wake-up call to politicians to concentrate on stimulating rural development and job creation in rural areas, so young people can carry out economic activities in these areas.
Africa is especially affected by this issue, as there are 420 million young people in the age between 15 and 35 currently living in the continent. In the next 40 years this number will continue to grow. This fact creates an additional pressure on the economy to open up perspectives to the young generation. With limited economic diversification, African countries are facing the enormous challenge of integrating 11 million young people entering the labour market each year, while offering only 3 million new jobs per year. The informal sector also absorbs a significant number, nevertheless leaving 1/3 of the young population under- or unemployed. This represents a challenge and an opportunity. If policy is able to make use of this enormous potential, youth can be a major driver for development. If not it may pose a severe risk to the social cohesion in the region.