African Businesses to Invest in Job-Creation for Youth
By Khalifa Hemed
Published November 13, 2017
African companies and business associations have committed to investing in job skills-development for youth through partnership with education institutions and governments.
The business community was represented among more than 400 representatives of youth, education and policy-making sectors from 44 African countries and European partners who have called for improving job prospects for African youth through employment-oriented education and skills-development.
Calling for a stronger engagement of the African business community in providing opportunities for skills training and joint offers with education institutions, participants in Africa Talks Jobs (ATJ) conference held at the African Union Commission (AUC) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, also appealed to African governments to provide the necessary frameworks as well as favourable conditions for young entrepreneurs.
The delegates noted that education at all levels and youth activities need to better address labour market demands and equip the youth with skills to start their own businesses.
Also included in the communiqué is the call to ensure the recognition of degrees and other qualifications across the continent to enable voluntary labour migration. The recommendations were handed over to the AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor, and the Head of the EU Delegation Ranieri Sabatucci who will submit them to the 5th AU-EU Summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
The conference was organised by AUC, New Partnership for Africa`s Development (NEPAD) and the continental umbrella organisation for the private sector known as Business Africa.
AUC, NEPAD and Business Africa signed a declaration of commitment to foster the business community’s role in partnerships with education and job creation.
The youth had a strong voice in the development of the recommendations and made up more than half of the conference participants. Among them were 36 fellows selected out of more than 7500 African and European applicants for the AU-EU Youth Plugin-Initiative. The AU-EU YPII is a programme to engage youth in developing a youth agenda to be endorsed at the 5th AU-EU Summit in Ivory Coast.