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Participants of the conference "ONE World No Hunger" hand over the "Berlin Charter" to Minister Muller.

The Berlin Charter on “Creating opportunities for the young generation in the rural world”

Bruno Losch, GovInn’s co-director, participated in the International Conference on The Future of the Rural World (Berlin, April 27-28) organized within the framework of the German G20 Presidency.

Bruno Losch was part of the International Advisory Committee in charge of drafting the Berlin Charter: “Creating opportunities for the young generation in the rural world“. The Charter was discussed through an open web based dialogue, amended, and then submitted to the Conference. Participants worked in six parallel thematic Charter Fora which provided final revisions. Bruno Losch was the advocate of the Charter Fora session on Entrepreneurship, jobs and skills. His testimony was shared along with the other advocates – including University of Pretoria’s Sheryl Hendricks – in a video presented to the audience.

The Charter was then approved by the Conference (the final version is here) and handed over to Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Charter calls on all stakeholders – national governments, development partners and finance institutions, the private sector, civil society and youth  – for transformative change and to commit to significant, quantified and time-bound targets in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It particularly addresses the situation of people suffering hunger and undernutrition and the need for concerted political and humanitarian actions to immediately end the current food crises situations in Africa.

The Charter focuses on the critical importance of access to innovative education and training as well as information and communication technologies (ICTs) for youth and young entrepreneurs. It reminds the role of infrastructure and services in rural areas and the necessary change of perspective about the potential of rural areas in school, politics and the media. As highlighted by Losch, an important result of the Berlin Charter is that “it puts upfront the need to reinvest and invest in development strategies. We need to understand the processes underway in order to engage in better policy making”.

Bruno Losch also particpated in a parallel panel session titled “Decent Jobs for Youth in the Rural Economy” organized by FAO and ILO. More information can be found on the International Labour Organisation website.

For more information of the initiative, visit the website for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the website of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security.

 

ILO Employment Research Brief

“+789 Million and Counting: the sub-Saharan African Equation”: ILO Employment Research Brief by Dr Bruno Losch

ILO (the International Labour Office) just released an Employment Research Brief titled: “+789 Million and Counting: the sub-Saharan African Equation” prepared with Bruno Losch, GovInn’s co-director.
This 8-pager is based on an ILO working paper published last November by Bruno Losch (Structural transformation to boost labour demand in sub-Saharan Africa: the role of agriculture, rural areas, and territorial development”). This brief focuses on SSA’s equation of providing quality jobs for a rapidly expanding and young labour force, in a context of limited economic diversification, critically challenged education systems, and under the constraints of increasing competition and climate change. 789 million is the expected increase of SSA’s labour force by 2050 and represents 62{4b05898ae60f9b5e2d93b69cb2027f6f0d06dfa7d8f8611bbe8472c2532adfa6} of the labour force growth worldwide.

The employment challenge in Africa is persistent and unique. It is not solely a challenge of unemployment, but one of providing quality jobs for a rapidly expanding, and markedly young, labour force. This research brief explores the opportunities that economic diversification offer to foster structural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa. It highlights three interconnected actions needed to achieve this goal: (i) supporting evidence-based multi-sectoral development strategies; (ii) supporting family farmers and diversification of rural incomes; and (iii) strengthening rural-urban linkages and promoting territorial policies.

 

To read the full document, see below: ILO_Research BRIEF Losch

‘Structural transformation to boost youth labour demand in sub-Saharan Africa: The role of agriculture, rural areas and territorial development’ 01.11.2016

In a recent working paper for the International Labor Organization (ILO) GovInn Co-director Bruno Losch explores  structural transformation and the identification of possible building blocks for boosting youth employment in sub-Saharan Africa. The paper begins by detailing past processes of structural transformation and new challenges facing Africa in the twenty-first century. It then turns to addressing the unique structural situation of sub-Saharan Africa, its employment challenges and the enduring importance of the rural labour force. It then reviews the existing policy options for speeding up the regions structural transformation, the limitations of  segmented sector-based policies and the importance of reinvesting in multi-sectoral and place-based development strategies. It also considers the rural economy and the need for renewed public policies adapted to the current realities of the region – notably the fading rural–urban divide. This new context requires a better understanding of the underlying processes of change – in particular, the growing pressure on land and natural resources and the consequences for viable agricultural systems, concluding with policy recommendations for an inclusive growth process for youth employment. The paper can be read and downloaded here.