The main reservoir of jobs today and tomorrow is the food economy
Laurent Bossard, director of the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat, talks about the region's key challenges and the issue of youth employment. The interview was conducted on the sidelines of the Sahel and West Africa Week 2017 in Cotonou, Benin. Beyond its short-term implications, food issues raise other major regional challenges, including employment -- especially for young people. But the food economy -- when viewed as a value chain that is not just limited to agriculture, but also includes processing, transport and trade -- is the main source of employment in the region today and tomorrow. The agri-food sector, which already accounts for 70% of employment in the region, must continue to be developed by increasing peoples’ awareness of nutrition issues, modernising agriculture and making food value chains more fluid. This last challenge is fundamental, because only better connections between the different segments, and between production and consumption zones, will increase the performance of these value chains and, thus, their capacity to generate employment, food security and stability in the region.
Full interview (French)