Solving Africa’s unemployment: UN, ILO, AU, AfDB launch ‘200 million Young Africans, 200 million Opportunities’ initiative

In response to the youth unemployment crisis in Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB), African Union (AU), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and International Labour Organization (ILO) have launched a joint initiative known as the “200 million Young Africans, 200 million Opportunities”.

The initiative, aimed to create synergies and increase the impact of youth employment activities in Africa, is to support national governments in their efforts to address the growing problem by creating job opportunities.

A statement from the AfDB says the joint initiative was introduced at ILO’s Twelfth African Regional Meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from October 11 to 14, 2011.

The joint initiative will be formally endorsed by African Heads of State and Governments at the January 2012 AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, it adds.

“Youth is a vital force of society. We need a paradigm shift: we must take charge of our own destinies as Africans. We must be able to have regional integration. Young people must be given opportunities, to be exposed, to get experience. We are at the forefront of changing Africa and the world. We support what happened in Tunisia. We will continue to fight for economic freedom to change the situation of youth in Africa”, Mr. Ben Duntoye, President of the Pan African Youth Union was cited in the statement as saying.

Commenting, ILO’s Director of Employment Policy, Ms. Azita Berar Awad said “This joint initiative will address both the unemployed as well as young people who are in precarious and informal employment helping them to transit to more productive jobs and more secure future

The AU is said to bring its political clout; UNECA will provide advocacy and anaytical role in youth unemployment; the ILO is to promote productive and decent work; and the AfDB to help mobilize finances.

By Ekow Quandzie

Watch experts discussing Africa’s unemployment situation

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