The G20 Summit in 2017 saw the launch of the Rural Youth Employment initiative, after a historic vote by governments and heads of states signalled a clear political commitment of the international community to support empowerment of youth in rural areas. Today, 1.2 billion young people between the ages 15 and 24 live in the world, and in Africa alone 440 million young people will enter the labour market by 2030.

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Rural youth can be the drivers of inclusive rural transformations that create opportunities for sustainable development that provide them with adequate quality life prospects. Decent employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for young women and men in rural areas in many parts of the world remain limited, negatively impacting socio-economic, stability, and resilience contributing to food insecurity, malnutrition, rural underdevelopment, inequalities, poverty, rapid urbanization and migration.

This G20 Initiative is a key element of the G20 Africa Partnership and aims to foster responsible public and private investment and generate economic opportunities, in particular for younger generations. It is also a key contribution to the implementation of the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development agreed by G20 leaders in Hangzhou in 2016 and addresses all three dimensions of sustainable development (social, ecological, economic) in a balanced and integrated manner. While this initiative focuses on challenges and opportunities in developing countries in Africa, it recognizes the importance of the issue in developing countries in other regions and the relevance of promoting exchange of experiences and learning.

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