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Abidjan hosts ministerial conference on ‘providing Africa’s youth with skills and training for jobs’

Oct 28, 2014, 10:06 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The Inter-Country Quality Node on Technical and Vocational Skills Development (ICQN-TVSD), which is steered by Moussa Dosso, Minister of State of Côte d’Ivoire in partnership with ADEA, held a high-level ministerial conference on “Providing Africa’s Youth with Skills and Training for Jobs” in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on July 22 and 23, 2014.

The conference was opened officially by the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, Daniel Kablan DUNCAN.

Some 25 African ministers responsible for vocational training, employment and youth matters in their respective countries attended the event.

Participants were also included 30 experts from various parts of the African continent and other regions of the world, as well as representatives of technical and financial partners.

The conference focused primarily on the pooling and sharing of pathways and modalities to improve through skills development and job creation, young Africans’ access to the world of work.

The ministerial conference was preceded on July 21st by a one-day experts’ meeting, attended by the technical and financial partners.

The meeting shared and analyzed the training, workforce integration and job creation strategies that countries have begun to implement in order to address the real needs of the labour market.

Actions taken by countries and their effectiveness were also discussed on the basis of reports produced on these by each country.

The discussions supported the formulation and endorsement by the African ministers of a regional action plan to significantly facilitate youths’ access to employment.

The ministers adopted the regional action plan (2014-2017) that will address youth employment through training and skills development and enhanced inter-country cooperation in these areas.

Ministers also decided on the institutionalization of the ICQN-TVSD as a permanent structure for inter-country cooperation on TVSD and defined the ICQN-TVSD’s work programme (2014-2017).

The experts’ meeting and ministers’ conference are organized by the Inter-Country Quality Country Node (ICQN) on Technical and Vocational Skills Development (TVSD) in partnership with ADEA and with the support of the French Agency for Development (AFD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Development Research Center (IDRC), the German Cooperation (GTZ), Luxemburg’s development agency (LuxDev), the Swiss Cooperation through NORRAG and the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).

Some facts and figures on youth employment in Africa

Youth employment is one of the biggest challenges facing the African continent in its efforts to fight poverty, and more fundamentally, ensure the sustainable development of the continent.

Although Africa has recorded an annual economic growth rate of nearly 5 per cent over the last ten years, the available data show that job creation is largely insufficient, when under normal circumstances this situation should have enabled African countries to resolve the problem of employing the many young people entering the job market.

Data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Bank have revealed that young people make up 60 per cent of the unemployed population, not counting those who are clearly under-employed.

The data from these organizations also indicated that between 2000 and 2007, Africa’s working population increased by 96 million while jobs increased by only 63 million and 4 out of 5 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, resulting in strong negative impacts on the personal and occupational development of Africa’s young people.

For example, one of every two young people who join an insurgent movement states that the main reason is unemployment.

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.

About the ICQN-TVSD

ADEA’s Inter-Country Quality Node on Technical and Vocational Skills Development (ICQN-TVSD) set up in 2010 was created to enable countries to share experiences, strategies and policies in the field of TVSD.

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.

ADEA press release