Promoting employment for young people in rural areas

Global project: Rural employment with a focus on youth

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Cofinancier

    Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA NO): EUR 4,200,000

  • Country

    Supraregional, focus on sub-Saharan Africa, Country packages in Kenya, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique

  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2018 to 2024

  • Products and expertise

    Rural development and agriculture

A woman crouching in a field.


Every year, around 25 million young people enter the labour market in Africa. The majority of these still live in rural regions. Women and young people are disproportionately affected by unemployment, underemployment and poor employment conditions.

Agricultural production in Africa needs to double by 2050 to feed the continent’s rapidly growing population. Young people play a vital role in the development of rural areas and the modernisation of the agricultural sector. This is why the broad-based promotion of employment in rural areas is a central concern of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


The training and employment situation in rural areas has improved in the partner countries, especially for young people, and youth employment is anchored in German and international development cooperation.

A woman holding a tray of eggs.


The project works locally in Kenya, Burkina Faso, Malawi and Mozambique. It also advises BMZ in Germany.

 The project takes an integrated approach to employment promotion with a 360-degree view of the needs of young women and men to improve the employment situation of young people in rural areas.

  • Labour supply: Young people improve their employment prospects by obtaining access to market-oriented agricultural skills development and training.
  • Labour demand: The project supports micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups with the continuing development of their business models and the creation of employment prospects.
  • Matching: An enabling environment and improved placement services bring potential employers and employees together. Rural youth organisations represent an important interface here.

With cofinancing from the Norwegian Embassy in Malawi, the project supports rural vocational education and training with a view to changing gender roles, particularly by pursuing a Gender Makes Business Sense approach.

The project advises BMZ on issues including positioning within international forums and on concept development and networking to anchor the subject within German and international development cooperation.

A man holding out a jar of peanut butter.

Last update: May 2023

Additional information