Today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever known, but attractive employment opportunities for young people are often limited in rural areas. Rural communities lose energetic workforce with innovative ideas and entrepreneurial potential. At the same time, agricultural production needs to increase by 60% to feed a growing world population by 2050. The side event will review current challenges and opportunities for young women and men in rural Africa, and discuss approaches for promoting rural youth employment and entrepreneurship. Participants will discuss ptions of how rural youth can better be enabled to contribute to rural development, notably rural income opportunities, and to feed the planet’s growing population while protecting the environment. It thereby relates to both the availability and access dimensions of food security. As an introduction, it will provide a general overview on the topic “Rural Youth Employment”. Particular attention will be given to successful examples of youth entrepreneurship in rural Africa and its prerequisites. The event will consider the momentum for rural youth employment related to the G20 Summit (July 2017 in Hamburg) and EU-Africa Summit (November 2017 in Abijan). The theme of employment creation in food systems will run throughout the event.