Sunday, February 16, 2014

Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation and African Union Commission’s Joint Summit on Youth Employment

Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation and African Union Commission’s Joint Summit on Youth Employment

WE, YOUNG PEOPLE attending the African Youth Forum under the theme “What Africa can do now to Accelerate Youth Employment?” organized by the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the United Nations Population Fund, the Islamic Bank for Development, the World Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation. 

On the sidelines of the 22nd Ordinary Assembly of the African Union Head of States and Government, held at the UNECA Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the 29th January, 2014; Recognising the centrality of Youth Employment and Empowerment to our holistic development as individuals and to the development of Africa; Noting that young people aged 15-35 make up over 40 per cent of the continent’s population and that the right investments in our education, health and employment will position Africa to reap the demographic dividend Taking cognizance of regional and international frameworks such as the African Youth Charter and its decade Plan of Action; the Ouagadougou Declaration and its Plan of Action for the Promotion of Employment and Poverty Alleviation; the Malabo Declaration on Acceleration Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development; the African Union Youth and Women Employment Pact; the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development Beyond 2014 in Africa; the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; the youth consultations for Agenda 2063, as well as national policies, which address youth employment and empowerment.

 Acknowledging progress made in implementing these frameworks and aware of ongoing review of implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action and work on the post 2015 development agenda; Mindful of our roles and responsibilities in our own development and in the development of our respective countries and the continent; Hereby adopt the following outcome statement:

CALL ON Governments to:
• SCALE UP opportunities that allow its youthful population to take up the gains presented by the uncultivated mass of arable land available on the continent; • INCREASE inclusive access to relevant and quality education that meet labour market needs and demands as well as support Technical, Education and Vocational Training (TVET) that guarantee young people the matching skills toward developmental needs of Africa;
• COMMIT a decision that holds government accountable to annual reporting on numbers of decent jobs created; as well as SUPPORT Small and Medium Enterprises and the Malabo decision of reducing unemployment by 2% annually;
• ENDORSE the inclusion of a standalone goal, for young people in the post 2015 development agenda to protect their rights, and to prioritize and address their education, preparation for decent employment and livelihoods, in order to guarantee their employability;
• INSTITUTE laws that criminalise sexual harassment in the workplace
CALL ON the Private sector,
• CREATE opportunities for smooth school-towork transitions, through support for internship, apprenticeship and entry-level position opportunities;
• OFFER business support, advisory and mentorship for young entrepreneurs by setting up incubators within their organization’s structure; and SUPPORT cross-platform partnerships focused on improving infrastructure that enhances the business climate;
CALL ON all Development Partners and Civil Society Organizations to:
• CONTINUOUSLY AND ACTIVELY ENGAGE young people on innovative way to build and strengthen their capacity;
• STRENGHEN their support for research towards generating data for planning, advocacy and accountability;
• INITIATE, ADVOCATE AND SUSTAIN the dialogue among all stakeholders in addressing the unemployment challenges;
• TAKE A LEADERSHIP ROLE toward innovative and competitive actions and harnessing our comparative advantages in reducing unemployment through entrepreneurship;
• ACTIVELY SUPPORT all stakeholders efforts in implementing, monitoring and evaluating youth employment policies and strategies, as we hold ourselves accountable;
• MOBILIZE peers to take up existing opportunities geared towards accessing employment and entrepreneurial skills.

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