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Rural youth employment and agricultural dynamics in Africa: mobilities, politicization and radicalization

Joseph Désiré Som I

The project allows a questioning about the links between mass unemployment of young people in rural areas, agricultural dynamics and political radicalism in a comparative perspective between the Central-West region of Tunisia and the Far-North region of Cameroon. We try to understand how and why the protests against the state by young people of the studied regions have their origins in the public policies on the agrarian and fishery resources. We postulate that the analysis of socio-economic integration strategies of rural youth, thought from agricultural dynamics, can allow us to understand both the politicization processes and the economic dimension of the contestation. Three axes of research are then emerging. A first axis is the analysis of the process by which agricultural policies affect the employment of rural youth in the governorates of Kasserine and Sidi Bouzid for Tunisia, and secondly, the Far-North region in Cameroon. Attention must be paid to the land policies, public and private funding of agricultural systems, as well as institutional and informal frameworks for family farming. A second axis is to identify and describe the empowerment trajectories from both Cameroonian and Tunisian rural youth whose main income is derived from agricultural activity. Finally, we will report on the politicization processes in which these rural youths are inserted, to analyze their engagement processes (motivations, activities, places, historicity and temporalities) in a collective action of a peaceful, radical protestation or radical religious movements.