The African Development Bank (AfDB) recognizes just how large the African cuisine value chain’s potential is to create jobs for youth and contribute to GDP growth, even in the face of the lack of government investment in the industry. The recently approved AfDB Group Strategy for Jobs for Youth in Africa, 2016-2025 intends to create 25 million jobs and train 32 million young people, impacting 50 million Africans over the next decade. The strategy is designed to increase direct and indirect employment, resulting in reduced poverty, inequality and economic and conflict-driven migration, and increased social cohesion and political stability. To accomplish these goals, the strategy aims to increase inclusive employment and entrepreneurship, strengthen human capital, and create durable labour market linkages. In this context, the Bank will create new flagship programmes in agriculture, industrialisation and information and communication technologies, as well as an innovation lab that will test, assess and scale promising solutions to accelerate job creation in Africa.
In November 2015, the AfDB’s Office of the Special Envoy on Gender (SEOG) launched the African Cuisine initiative in South Africa . Experts from eastern and southern Africa gathered to explore the opportunities and challenges inherent in supporting the growth of an African cuisine value chain that leverages diverse African cultures and traditions.