Mastercard Youth Livelihood Member, Alemayehu Konde K writes on Improving Food security In africa Through Youth Engagement

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Mastercard Youth Livelihood Member, Alemayehu Konde K writes on Improving Food security In africa Through Youth Engagement

Mastercard Youth Livelihood Member, Alemayehu Konde K writes on Improving Food security In africa Through Youth Engagement




                                       

WRITTEN BY ALEMAYEHU KONDE KOIRA



Consider a family in rural Africa welcoming a new child into the world. The child is loved but the family worries about how they will feed another mouth. They also regard their newest member as a pair of working hands, which in time will help them to earn more income, improve their livelihoods, and provide for each other. The worry and opportunity the family see in this new child speaks to the reality and complexity of food insecurity in Africa.
Despite being home to 25 percent of the world’s most arable land, many young Africans and their families don’t have enough to eat.  According to the FAO, a person is food secure when they have available and adequate access to enough food for a healthy and active lifestyle. The food is safe, nutritious, and is physically, socially, and economically available. Simply put, people are able to eat the food they want, when they want it, anytime, anywhere. A family is food secure when its members do not live in hunger or in fear of hunger.
With a quickly growing youth population there is a need for enhanced food security in Africa. Of 86 countries that are defined as low income and food deficient, 43 are in Africa. Today, there are more than 1.2 million young people that are food insecure. That number is expected to rise, as the youth population in Africa increases dramatically over the next 15 years. Seventy-two percent of youth already live under US$2 a day and many are vulnerable, either unemployed, underemployed or pursuing a number of livelihood activities just to survive. A lack of job opportunities, either formal or informal, remains one of the biggest challenges facing the continent today.
But there is also hope. As the child of our rural family matures and becomes an adult she could join a productive labour force that transforms the agricultural sector and ends food insecurity on the continent.

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