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Walking the Talk: A Snapshot of Country and Regional Experiences, Good Practices and Lessons Learnt in African Agriculture and CAADP since 2003

As a celebration of national and regional efforts and achievements, this panorama of country experiences and good practices will not only help intensify the African agriculture transformation underway, but will also promote active participation of citizenry, enhance mutual accountability, and ensure that future initiatives build on good practices and successes realised thus far.

It is estimated that 44%of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is under the age of 16 (with close to 200 million people aged between 15 and 24) , making it the youngest region in the world. However, this large pool of youth has not demonstrated an appetite for farming.

This is despite the potential employment opportunities the agricultural industry is able to create. Four out of every ten of those unemployed in sub-Saharan Africa comprise youth. In addition, 70% of these young people live in rural areas where they are confronted by significant challenges in accessing education, land, credit, skills development initiatives and other assets and resources that support economic growth and opportunity.

Agriculture remains the primary employment growth sector for most African countries, and it is therefore critical that more opportunities are created for young people in the entire production and marketing value chain. Experts believe that growth in the African agricultural sector will reduce poverty by twice as much as any other industry. With the biggest share of the world's available arable land, Africa is now repositioning agriculture as an engine for economic transformation.

At present, the sector contributes about 30%of gross domestic product in most countries. Agriculture therefore remains critical to economic growth and the creation of jobs. Equally important, a vibrant agricultural industry plays a pivotal role in ensuring national food and nutrition security.