IFAD RESEARCH SERIES 47 Landscapes of Rural Youth Opportunity

55 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2020 Last revised: 6 Apr 2020

See all articles by James Sumberg

James Sumberg

University of East Anglia

Jordan Chamberlin

CIMMYT

Justin Flynn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Dominic Glover

Institute of Development Studies, Brighton

Vicky Johnson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 17, 2020

Abstract

This paper is motivated by the consistent portrayal, within current policy discourse, of agriculture and the broader rural economy in Africa as domains of opportunity for rural youth. It presents a new conceptualization of landscapes of rural youth opportunity, where these landscapes reflect an individual’s reading of the complex interplay between economic geography; local history, agrarian relations, institutions and politics; social and cultural norms; family influences; education and experience; aspirations and preferences; and access to resources. The argument is that it is essential to acknowledge the importance of opportunity structures, and avoid anything that suggests that individual characteristics, such as agency, aspirations, skills, entrepreneurial behaviour and “good choices” should be the primary considerations in relation to an “investing in youth” strategy. The paper also presents new empirical analysis of young people’s engagement with the rural economy using LSMS data from six African countries.

Keywords: youth, rural development, africa, rural youth

Suggested Citation

Sumberg, James and Chamberlin, Jordan and Flynn, Justin and Glover, Dominic and Johnson, Vicky, IFAD RESEARCH SERIES 47 Landscapes of Rural Youth Opportunity (January 17, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3521380 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3521380

James Sumberg (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Jordan Chamberlin

CIMMYT ( email )

Apdo. Postal 6-641
Texcoco, El Batan 06600
Mexico

Justin Flynn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Dominic Glover

Institute of Development Studies, Brighton

Library Road
Falmer
Brighton, East Sussex BN1 9RE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.ids.ac.uk

Vicky Johnson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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