In one of several panel discussions, Oriane Barthélemy from France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, dived into the results of a YES! Forum side event on decent jobs creation for rural youth in food systems that had been organized by the Rural Youth Thematic Working Group of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development. The side event brought together donors, governments, and youth representatives. Barthélemy remarked that there is momentum on the theme of youth employment evidenced by a large number of actors working on decent employment for rural youth, in addition to the young agripreneurs.
Bathélemy also talked about the G7 Framework for the Creation of Decent Jobs for Rural Youth in the Sahel, which was adopted by The G7 Development Ministers in their July meeting in Paris. She noted the driving force of the food economy in Africa and its role in inclusive rural development and reported that this is the reason why the G7 decided to concentrate their efforts on decent job creation for rural youth through all upstream and downstream agricultural activities.
Barthélemy continued in highlighting the different principles of the framework, including better alignment with countries’ policies and about donor coordination. She quoted a well-known saying, “Alone we go faster, together we go further”, adding that this is congruent with the objective of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, which brings together 40 multilateral, bilateral and international development institutions. Additionally, she informed the participants about the major outcomes of different areas around the event. Youth are not homogenous, and to understand their ambitions and leverage their innovation, practitioners should promote youth inclusion in the design and implementation of projects. “You should be trusted, and donors should look at youth as development partners and not just beneficiaries”, she said.