The SIDS Conference will begin next week with the Youth conference followed by the main conference in the following week.
So much has already been discussed prior to the Youth Conference, all of which will be covered at next week's events. It would be most interesting in particular to discuss rural youth in terms of the "youth bulge" and the challenges they face like their access to quality education only furthering their distance from political and economic development participation.
It would be interesting also to have the rural youth very much a part of the discussions as they make up 580 million (55%) people of the developing world according to the Rural Youth evaluation synthesis report (May 2014) collated by IFAD. According to the report, over 1.2 billion of the worlds population are aged 15-24, making up 17% of of the global population, the highest these figures have ever been. I hope we can raise these issues at the conference and especially in terms of agriculture, one of the main sectors for SIDS and the decline of agricultural activities among rural youth, which in turn is also affecting food security, sustainable livelihoods and placing heavier burdens on the older generation.
The Report discussed that there are no incentives in place to encourage rural youth in agriculture. Well, this is probably the tricky part and all discussions on this topic are welcome.