Creating welfare and jobs in rural areas is a development policy priority for the continent. Seventy per cent of Africa’s rural populations derive their livelihoods from agriculture, and the number of young people living in rural areas is continuously growing and will continue to do so over the next decades.
The NEPAD-led Rural Futures Programme seeks to promote the well-being, gainful employment and the increasing of household incomes of rural populations through rural transformation. The programme builds on the successes and lessons from AU initiatives such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). It aims to mainstream transformation objectives such as job creation, in all NEPAD programmes. Interventions are specifically targeted at creating decent rural job opportunities for the youth and enhancing entrepreneurship in agriculture and agribusiness employment opportunities.