Thursday, February 3, 2011

World Youth Unemployment Has Soared with 88.2 Million Unemployed Youths Now Lamented Ibrahim Ceesay

NEWS BANJUL THE GAM,BIA (MB)- Mr. Ibrahim Ceesay Social Justice cum Youth Activist has decries the situation of youth unemployment in the Gambia, Africa and the world at large. “Youth unemployment has soared in the last decades by reaching its highest record with expectation of even higher increment in 2010, and the trend is believe by many to continue in 2011,” Ceesay said. 
  He was speaking as panelist at a recent three days national capacity building workshop on the theme “Right Based Approach to Employment and Economic Justice”. The workshop was organised by the Gambia Young Men Christian Associations (YMCAs) through Big lottery fund project in Life Skills and Enterprised Development at the Paradise Suites Hotel. 

Globally, he said the situation of young people today is characterized by extreme disparities in terms of economic, technological, social and cultural resources, which vary enormously across regions, countries, localities and population groups. 
 Quoting the International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, Ceesay revealed that ILO estimates that 88.2 million young women and men unemployed globally accounting for 47 percent of all unemployed persons. 
Social Justice cum Youth Activist continued, according to ILO, youth unemployment rate increased from 11.9 percent in 2007 to 13.0 percent in 2009. 
 “This is 81 million of the already 620 million economically active youth between the ages of 15-24.” ILO report contained. 
 Importantly, the number, the report went on, will be higher if other issues are considered such as the total youth unemployed of the entire global youth population, and the age level range involved from 15 to 35; and the employment status of youth in developing and developed countries. 
In fact, Africa is a continent of extreme poverty many youthful numbers in many countries and is faced with extreme poverty. 
 Social Justice cum Youth Activist, pointed out that the Gambia has a youthful population and youth employment and development partners. The government of the Gambia and its development partners, has created various youth employment projects programmes and initiatives in the country. 
 He told the gathering that having a statistic of both employed and unemployed youths statistic is a big challenge, as there is no statistic available in the country regarding employed and unemployed people.  “Decent and productive work for young people of the Gambia is central to reversing cycles of poverty,” said Ceesay. 
 In addition, addressing the issue of youth employment as a fundamental block to poverty eradication and as a powerful mechanism for delivering the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), Vision 2020, MDGs, National Youth Policy, ECOWAS Youth Policy and the African Youth Charter. 
 According to him, there are options for young people to take action on youth employment to ensure that they address youth unemployment stating that many reports has highlighted the importance of youth employment. 
 Some of the options, he outlined the creating flexible employment opportunities for youth, especially those at risk, working to secure decent working conditions for all young people that is labour rights, and creating employment. 
He went on, revising current employment policies, ensuring that jobs are meaningful contribute to creation of more just and sustainable communities and reinforce suit esteem and self worth of young people. 
Ceesay noted that micro-finance, youth-led enterprises and youth self- employment, all seeks to assist young people to develop financial management skills. Action on youth employment, he went on, needs to be integrated as a central platform for achieving MDGs one on poverty reduction. In his own suggestion, youth employment and poverty reduction strategies should especially focus on young women, men, indigenous population, and rural youth as those group are he most marginalized within the current economic system. 
 He then disclosed that youth Employment summit (YES) and youth Employment Network (YEN) have developed extensive networks and compiled long lists of best practices and have provides both Civil Society and government frame works. The efforts of YES and YEN, he pointed out now need to be scaled up and replicated in more countries and communities. 
 This he suggested would require considerably more resources both financial and technical so as to enhanced commitments and participation from all stakeholders. At all stages, Ceesay buttressed, youth must be seen as equal partners in developing and implementing initiatives, they must be given the space and opportunities to be part of the solution. 
“The thousand of youth involved in initiatives such as the YES and its country networks demonstrate that young people are keen and able to play important and pivotal roles in facilitating the social, economic and environmental development necessary, it and when appropriate support and opportunity is provided, he remarked. 
 Citing some of the priority for actions social justice and youth Activist said to provide incentives to make agriculture rewarding and beneficial to Gambian youths through improved access to agricultural micro-financing, youth incubation centers and enhancing youth, volunteer opportunities, internships and mentorships. Still on priority areas, Ceesay said development policies must prioritize the growth of rural areas, which he noted have high percentage of unemployed youths and little public infrastructure, by engaging young people in creating necessary services and infrastructure. 
 In addition, youth must be empowered as learners, developers, contributors, entrepreneurs and decision- making on the issues of information and communication technologies, which he alluded, widespread access in urban and rural areas in critical to facilitating youth empowerment. 
 Governments he pointed out, must create mechanisms that ensure young people are involved in the development of PRSPs through national youth councils or other forums for youth representation, noting that this will ensure that youth perspectives are heard and that the PRSPS are relevant to local concerns. It will also promote wider spread participation in their unemployment. Making agriculture attractive as a live hood option for Gambian youths, create limited access to lands for young farmers and tools to cultivate the lands and provide accordingly are all priority areas for youths. 
 However to build and support opportunities for youth participate in fair trade movement, and further develop open trading and financial systems that are rules – based – predictable and non- discriminatory are all crucial for youths. In conclusion, he remarked, a viable strategy to eradicating poverty is through the provision of self-employment, opportunities to transform job – seekers to job – wakens or entrepreneurs. 
 Yet, often times, young people lack sufficient business management skills and start – up capital. Micro-finance institutions (MFIs), especially in rural areas and urban poor settlements, he went on, are then important in the process. “Young people of the Gambia wish to have an assured future where peace, justice and economic independence is key to their development,” he concluded.

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