SWAC webinar "Food Employment in West Africa"


Thursday 28 June 2018, 15:00-16:00 (CET)


‌The food economy is experiencing rapid transformation across West Africa as a result of the impact of rapid urbanisation and rising household income, creating considerable opportunities for employment generation.  The food and agriculture sector employs two-thirds of the total regional workforce. Although agriculture accounts for the vast majority of jobs, there is increasing labour demand for food related jobs in the service sector and manufacturing with significantly positive implications for women and youth. 


Based on the SWAC West African Paper, ‘Agriculture, Food and Jobs in West Africa’ published last April, a webinar on the results and policy implications took place on Thursday 28th June 2018.


The webinar featured a presentation by Philipp Heinrigs, Senior Economist, SWAC and co-author of the paper. It was followed by panel remarks from Ousman Djibo (Project Manager, Agricultural Policy and Food Security, GIZ)  Thomas Reardon (Professor, Michigan State University), Saweda Liverpool-Tasie (Assistant Professor, Michigan State University) and Ileana Grandelis (Rural Employment Officer, FAO).


Key discussion points included:

  • Shifts in labour demand within West Africa’s food systems and drivers for off-farm employment,
  • Emerging spatial implications, in particular rural-urban linkages and rural employment diversification,
  • Policy considerations for designing targeted employment strategies that leverage the links between agricultural productivity, off-farm employment and rural-urban areas, particularly for youth and women. 


 Watch the webinar:




Key messages:


West African Papers:


 Blogs and articles:




Michigan State University


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