Africa Talks Jobs 2018
From 30 to 31 October 2018, more than 160 representatives of youth, business, education, policy-making and civil society from all African regions as well as European partners gathered at the African Union Commission (AUC) for the “Africa Talks Jobs” conference to follow-up on the launch of the platform in 2017 – a continental multi-stakeholder dialogue on education and skills development for employment and entrepreneurship.
Due to Africa’s growing population, every year a high number of young jobseekers enter a labour market which cannot provide a workplace for all. To create jobs for youth and foster a prosperous Africa, skills development, youth entrepreneurship and the promotion of youth-led start-ups are key. At the conference, participants discussed how to provide Africa’s next generation with relevant skills that increase businesses’ productivity – including ways to engage the private sector in skills development – and how to stimulate entrepreneurship and youth-led start-ups. As the result of several expert sessions and input shared by youth entrepreneurs, policy recommendations were developed and handed over to the AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, who emphasised that “strategic partnerships and collaboration with the private sector are key to optimally harness the youth demographic, create employment and promote youth entrepreneurship”.
Anja Pauls, BMZ Country Desk Officer for the cooperation with Pan-African institutions, welcomed the lively discussions, the joint learning process and the invaluable dedication by the private sector. “The BMZ is delighted to be able to support the African Union in promoting its convening power through the Africa Talks Jobs conference and is looking forward to continuing its friendship as well as partnership with the AUC, Business Africa and NEPAD.”
In 2020, the dialogue platform will be taken to the next level – “Africa Talks Jobs” will transform into “Africa Creates Jobs” in the context of which the African Union will continue exchanging good practices and driving action for the future of young people.
The Skills Initiative for Africa (SIFA) aims to promote occupational prospects of young Africans through the support of innovative skills development programs and a close cooperation with the private sector as integral key stakeholder in the creation of jobs. The SIFA Private Sector Roundtable brought together members of the Business Community, public and other key stakeholders encompassing continental, regional and national actors, with the aim of bringing the engagement of the Business Community in skills development to the next level. It’s affiliation with Africa Talks Jobs will help to deepen the exchange and work towards implementation and execution arrangements through development of individual national-regional action plans for the targeted regional anchor partner organisations.
Dialogue on Youth Entrepreneurship
All phases of youth entrepreneurship promotion require critical attention – the development of entrepreneurship skills and the promotion of start-ups through direct support and the provision of conducive context factors. Likewise, the strengthening of human capital investment and the improvement of the economic environment are relevant for this endeavour. Relevant national and continental policies have been developed already by African Union member states to tackle the described need. The dialogue built upon the exchange of experiences, expertise and ideas in order to develop a conference communiqué in which recommendations were made towards conducive policy frameworks for youth entrepreneurship promotion.
ATJ Affiliated Events
The Innovating Education in Africa Expo (IEA 2018) organized by the African Union in collaboration with the Government of Senegal, GIZ amongst other partners, was a 3-day conference that was held at the International Conference Center Dakar, Senegal. It aimed at highlighting and showcasing various innovations around the concept of improving access and quality of education and training on the continent. Based on this premise, the Africa Talks Jobs which is an innovative dialogue platform that evolved out of a partnership of the African Union Commission with Business Africa, a continental Employers’ Federation, and Africa’s New Partnership for Development (NEPAD) and GIZ through the German cooperation, keyed into the conference to discuss the future of employment and entrepreneurship on the continent. The ATJ panel discussion facilitated by Nicholas Ouma (AUC HRST Youth Division) involved high-level discussants from Academia, Government and Industry including Madame Razafindrabe Voahirana Nirina (Director of National Education Madagascar), Professor Damtew Tefera (Higher University of Kwazulu-Natal Durban, also representative of policy task force for Africa Talks Jobs 2017) and Mr. Yusuf Reja, Founder of Ethio-Jobs (Founder of Ethiojobs.net and Zebrajobs.com –e-recruiting service in Ethiopia).