Africa: Ministerial conference held on equipping youth with job skills & training
Data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Bank shows that young people make up 60% of the unemployed population, not counting those who are clearly under-employed. (Image: Who’s Who)
Currently, youth employment is one of the biggest challenges facing Africa in its efforts to fight poverty and ensure the sustainable development of the continent.
Accordingly, in an attempt to fight youth unemployment, a two-day ministerial conference started today July 22, 2014 on “Providing Africa’s Youth with Skills and Training for Jobs” in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Opened by the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, Daniel Kablan Duncan, the conference primarily focuses on pooling and sharing of pathways and modalities to improve young Africans’ access to the world of work through skills development and job creation.
Though Africa has recorded an annual economic growth of nearly 5% over the last decade, available data shows that job creation is largely insufficient.
Under normal circumstances, the growth rate should have enabled African countries to resolve the problem of youth unemployment.
However, data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Bank shows that young people make up 60% of the unemployed population, not counting those who are clearly under-employed.
Also, between 2000 and 2007, Africa’s working population increased by 96 million while jobs increased by only 63 million and four out of five of these new jobs were created by the informal economy.
This situation has led to a severe deterioration in the economic and social situation of the youth on the continent.
In addition, a great majority of young people entering the job market hold unstable jobs and, as a result, have no assurance concerning the earning potential and permanence of their work.
Such sobering data forms a solid rationale for hosting the conference, which accommodates some 25 African Ministers responsible for vocational training, employment and youth matters in their countries.
The event will also witness the participation of 30 experts from various parts of Africa and the globe as well as representatives of technical and financial partners.
The ministerial conference has been organized by Inter-Country Quality Node on Technical and Vocational Skills Development (ICQN-TVSD) and is being steered by Moussa Dosso, Minister of State of Côte d’Ivoire in partnership with ‘Agence de Développement des Entreprises en Afrique’ (ADEA).
The conference also carries the support of the French Agency for Development (AFD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Development Research Center (IDRC), the German Cooperation (GIZ), Luxemburg’s development agency (LuxDev), the Swiss Cooperation through NORRAG and the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF)
The event was preceded yesterday by a one-day experts meeting, which allowed participants to share and analyze the training, workforce integration and job creation strategies that countries have started implementing to address the real needs of the labour market.
They also discussed the actions taken by the different countries and their effectiveness basis reports produced on each country.
The discussions support the formulation and endorsement by the African Ministers of a Regional Action Plan to significantly facilitate youth’s access to employment.
Using that opportunity the Ministers will adopt the Regional Action Plan (2014-2017) that will address youth employment through training and skills development and enhanced inter-country cooperation in these areas.
About the ICQN-TVSD:
The Inter-Country Quality Node on Technical and Vocational Skills Development (ICQN-TVSD) was set up in 2010 to enable countries to share experiences, strategies and policies in the field of training and vocational skills.
Ultimately it seeks the effective implementation of policies and actions at the service of Africa’s accelerated and sustainable development.
The ICQN is led by the State Ministry for Employment, Social Affairs and Vocational Training of Côte d’Ivoire. Twenty-five countries from all the sub-regions of Africa, currently participate in the activities of the ICQN.