6.1 Introduction

Why Focus on Rural Economic Opportunities for Youth?

The current “youth bulge” is seen as both a crisis and an opportunity.  One the one hand, large numbers of unemployed young people in developing countries are living in poverty, unable to care for their families and older generations of workers, with low hopes for the future; this population of sometimes well educated, frustrated people is contributing to political volatility around the world. On the other hand, a high population of young people can be a highly innovative, flexible workforce and a highly motivated cohort that contributes to positive economic development and social change. [1] In rural areas, the “crisis and opportunities” are parallel, but have different characteristics and implications.

[1] Making Cents International, 2012; Clinton, 2012;