Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Africa’s top political and economic institutions have joined forces, with backing from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), to improve employment prospects for the continent’s bulging youth population, it was officially announced here Wednesday.
The African Union Commission (AUC), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and ILO will Thursday sign here a Declaration of Intent to work together on the Joint Initiative on Youth Employment in Africa (JYEIA).
According to the AUC, the initiative addresses the call made by the African Heads of State and Government at their Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in July 2011 to tackle more decisively the youth employment challenge in Africa.
Apparently, the call was part of their follow-up to the 2004 Ouagadougou Declaration and Action Plan to the same effect.
“While operating at country, sub-regional, and continental level, the JYEIA will be active in three main areas — Policy support; Support for implementation of national, sub-regional and regional youth employment plans and policies; And knowledge building and dissemination,” the AUC explained.
At country level, the initiative will not support particular projects or actions but, by conducting a thorough diagnostic work, it will provide the basis for an effective, integrated and nationally owned definition and implementation of priorities and areas of interventions.
According to the details provided by the AUC, the Initiative would not itself implement activities but support implementation by offering financial resources and technical expertise.
“In the selection of activities to support, the Initiative will emphasise such types and approaches of intervention that have proven their value and can be up scaled in order to achieve sizable impact,” the Commission said.
The distinctive trait of the joint initiative is to add value to the ongoing African youth employment efforts by becoming a catalysing factor of the national and international endeavours.
In order to achieve such goal, the AUC noted that comparative advantages and strengths of its four member institutions will be tapped into and active collaboration and coherent integration of the work of national and development partners sought.