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Rural youth in northern Zambia: straddling the rural-urban divide

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningfagfællebedømt

The Northern Province of Zambia – one of the poorest in the country – is physically and psychologically located far from the capital of Lusaka in the south.
The province is dominated by vast areas of woodland (miombo) with inherently
low soil fertility and a relatively low population density. The main source of
livelihood has traditionally been a subsistence-based shifting cultivation system
known as chitemene (Strømgaard, 1985; Trapnell, 1943). Rural youth in the
Northern Province tend to have poor education opportunities and have generally
engaged in subsistence agriculture. As is widely reported for sub-Saharan
Africa, young people are increasingly turning their backs on agriculture, seeing it as an occupation that is back-breaking and only fit for old people (FAO, 2014).
The aim of this chapter is to explore the livelihood strategies and aspirations
of young people living in a rural area of northern Zambia, in particular to
examine their decision to either stay in or leave their village. Their strategies are
shown to fall into three categories: farming in the village, setting up a business
in the village (combined with farming), or migrating to set up a business elsewhere. The chapter shows how, contrary to the trend in much of sub-Saharan
Africa, many young people are choosing to stay in their rural villages and engage
in farming. This is partly due to the availability of land and government programmes that have been introduced to stimulate agriculture. Increasingly,
however, young people are not relying solely on farming, but are also engaging
in nonfarm activities. Some young people are shown to be highly entrepreneurial,
managing to set up and run businesses despite facing constant and changing
challenges. Whether they are based in the village or in the nearby small town,
most youth engage in livelihood strategies that cross the rural–urban divide.
TitelYoung entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa
RedaktørerKatherine Gough, Thilde Langevang
Antal sider13
UdgivelsesstedAbingdon, Oxon; New York, NY
KapitelPart III
ISBN (Trykt)978-1-138-84459-9
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-1-135-73025-7
StatusUdgivet - 2016
NavnRoutledge spaces of childhood and youth series

ID: 158576891