African leaders must invest in youth
From ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – WITH data indicating job demands far outweigh employment creation, African leaders and businesses executives have been urged to step up investments in skills development and promotion of entrepreneurship among youth.
Between 10 million and 12 million young Africans enter the workforce each year but only 3 million formal jobs are created annually.
Besides, the youth often lack the skills required by employers, despite gains in education access over the past several decades.
Business and political leaders have met in Lusaka, Zambia to tackle such issues.
Meeting under the auspices of the Jobs for African Youth programme at the ongoing Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The programme initially focuses on the bank’s high-priority sectors of agriculture, industry and technology.
It will include an index to measure youth employment outcomes and enabling policies at the country level, and provide information on the evolution of labor market performance over time.
Akinwumi Adesina, President, AfDB, said the bank had taken bold steps to turn Africa’s youth bulge into an economic dividend by developing a strategy that would create 25 million jobs for as well as equip an additional 50 million in the next decade.
Tony Elumelu, one of the continent’s leading businessmen, said the need to invest strategically in the continent’s young people was a pressing growth issue.
It is feared lack of employment opportunities is exposing youth to recruitment by terrorist organizations.
– CAJ News
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