Uganda has the world’s second-youngest population and its job gap is growing: Each year, 400,000 youth enter the labor market and compete for only 80,000 formal jobs. This challenge is expected to worsen, with the total number of job seekers forecast to reach 48 million by 2040. With one of the world’s highest population growth rates and an economy reliant on agriculture for growth and food security, the country sits at a critical juncture. Uganda’s path forward lies in creating agriculture sector opportunities for rural youth, given that 75 percent of the workforce is engaged in this sector, including 55 percent of youth and 70 to 80 percent of women.
In partnership with USAID/Feed the Future, the Uganda Youth Leadership for Agriculture Activity connects youth with opportunities in the country’s agriculture sector. The project aims to increase economic opportunities for 350,000 Ugandan female and male youth ages 10 to 35 in agriculture-related fields to increase their incomes and build entrepreneurship, leadership, and workforce-readiness.
Using a community approach that targets youth in multiple ways will help leverage private sector and workforce institutions and ensure their involvement. Project activities will also tap national organizations and leaders with geographic reach and networks to share knowledge countrywide.
Youth serve as facilitators in the leadership training, youth-friendly outreach and technologies promotion, and youth-led research. The program will also create a Youth Advisory Board to review activity progress and serve as a champion for changing perceptions, coordinating with national and regional youth networks to share knowledge and harness youth energy and enthusiasm.