What works to boost youth employment in Africa? Speakers and panelists share their insights in interviews and a video impression of the conference on ‘Boosting youth employment in Africa’. The conference was held in The Hague on 30 May 2017 and was organized by INCLUDE and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Video impression of the conference
Video registration of the keynote speeches
Opening address by Isa Baud, Chairperson of INCLUDE:
Opening address by Christiaan Rebergen, Director General for International Cooperation, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Session 1: Understanding youth employment in Africa: the problem, priorities and strategies
Opening speech by Lilianne Ploumen, Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development:
Keynote speech by Louise Fox, Chief Economist at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID):
Keynote speech by Ginette Nzau Muteta, Coordinator Jobs for Youth in Africa at the African Development Bank (AfDB):
Video interviews with speakers and panelists
“The structural changes that are required, the IT support services and all the mentorship and coaching that is required to ensure that the young people who pick up a carreer in agriculture are able to survive and be able to make something meaningful of their lives” – Fred Frimpong, coordinator MASO/Youth Forward Ghana, Solidaridad
“Young people have a positive mind, a positive attitude towards agriculture. But what they need is support. They just don’t have financial access” – Francis Arinaitwe, youth leader and member of the Mastercard Foundation Youth Think Tank, Uganda
“There are many people doing so many things, so I think there’s need to synchronize our efforts. We need more coordination and collaboration among different stakeholders” – Toyosi Oyebanji, youth coach and coordinator of The Next Economy programme in Nigeria
“A lot of actors are doing the right thing but they need coordination. They need to work into a framework that the government should put in place” – Ginette Nzau Muteta
“What’s really important for donors especially is to build up the capacity of African researchers. Because African researchers know how to make the [research] findings context specific” – Louise Fox
“You need kind of an environment where policies are discussed, where you can learn from each other. (…) We get together, we hear what has worked and why, and maybe we can do that again, duplicate it, scale it up, and so improve our policies. We need meetings like this to do it, to really learn and to bring it into practice” – Roel van der Veen, chief scientist of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
“Governments need to make sure they remove obstacles so that young people are able to earn land and have a bank account, for example. The private sector needs to invest – also in rural areas, in small scale farmers, in sectors where many young people are working” – Lilianne Ploumen
“Focus on rural young people so that they can access technical training. (…) The government should focus on that” – Regis Umugiraneza, co-founder of CARL group and head of Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF)
“We are ready to work together, we are ready to create employment to our own, for instance now, back at home, I have a milk outlet where I have been able to get employment to another youth. If we can consider the value chain in the different sectors that we have [in Kenya], be it in dairy, be it in any processing sector, the different sectors that we have, that would be nice” – Carol Njeri Gathogo, farmer and member of the Ndumberi Dairy Cooperative Society Kenya
“If you have a role model, it will help other youth to come. When I started my business, I was alone. But now, when they are seeing the impact of what they are getting from me, they start accepting to come” – Mark Odong, founder Agriquery solutions
The AERC hosted a virtual Regional Policy Forum on 28 March 2022. The forum brought together key stakeholders who play important roles in shaping new research findings, paving new policy directions, and initiating innovative practices in the areas of youth and employment.
The African continent is undergoing an important demographic transformation that will, for the better or the worse, drastically change its labor market. According to the World Bank, every year 12 million young people enter the job market while only 3 million formal jobs are created. With a median age of 25 years old, the African continent is the youngest in the world.