About ATJ

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Africa Talks Jobs

As a contribution to the year of Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth and as a pre-conference to the 5th AU-EU Summit, the African Union Commission, NEPAD and Business Africa are organizing the conference “Africa Talks Jobs.  Equipping the Youth with Adaptive Education and Skills for EmploymentAfrica Talks Jobs shall also serve as a platform for the continued continental dialogue on skills development beyond the conference.

The conference will be held in Addis Ababa at the African Union Commission Conference Center from October 30 to November 1, 2017.

With a growing number of youth amongst its population, the importance of the demographic dividend in Africa has long been acknowledged by its leaders. Thus, the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments in January 2016 declared 2017 as the year of ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investment in Youth’.

This continent wide initiative provides tangible investment areas under four thematic pillars:


  • Employment and Entrepreneurship
  • Education and Skills Development
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Rights, Governance and Youth Empowerment, with a special emphasis on Youth

During the 4th AU-EU Summit in 2014, the roadmap for the implementation of the Africa-EU strategy called for stakeholders to “consult and exchange to foster education, vocational training and entrepreneurship among women and youth”. Amplifying this commitment, the 5th AU-EU summit to be held in November 2017 will feature Youth as the central theme of the summit – showcasing the priority for Africa as well as the Africa-EU relations. Furthermore, a group of European and African youth will be selected under the new Plug-in to work alongside the EU and AU on priority topics to develop an EU-Africa Youth Agenda to be endorsed at the 5th Summit.

Africa Talks Jobs will be held in coordination with the EU. Germany has committed to supporting the conference and the continued efforts to build alliances for skills development and employment with African partners. Other EU member states are already engaged in the field and are invited to join and contribute to the continental dialogue.

The conference will showcase the interdependence between education, skills development, employment and entrepreneurship and provide a platform for showcasing successful approaches at all levels of education (higher education, TVET schools, secondary schools, civil society and youth organizations) and involving multiple stakeholders education practitioners, the business community, employment services and policy making.

Conference Objectives

  • Contribute to Employment and Entrepreneurship (pillar 1) and Education and Skills Development (pillar 2) of the roadmap of the AU Year of Youth.
  • Promote the continental strategies on youth and education namely: TVET, Continental Education Strategy for Africa, Science Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa and the Youth Charter regarding their orientation towards youth employment.
  • Present concrete implementation approaches and strategies by education practitioners in higher education, TVET schools and colleges, in youth and civil society organizations and by private sector actors. Point to the necessary frameworks by policy makers for education and skills development for youth employment from Africa and Europe.
  • Feed good practice examples into the NEPAD inventory of good practices in employment oriented skills development (all education levels and informal education).
  • Launch platforms for exchange and encourage mutual learning between policy makers and relevant stakeholders.
  • Feed into the AU-EU Summit in November 2017 and Africa-EU Youth Agenda
  • Feed into the AU Summit in January 2018.


Conference Format

  • Plenary sessions with high level speakers and presenters
  • Thematic parallel panels
  • Workshops to showcase best practices and exchange about successful approaches
  • Marketplace presentations of good practice
  • Official launch of the virtual dialogue platform on employment oriented skills development run by NEPAD
  • Development of Policy Recommendations through a task force representing education experts, the business community and youth.
  • Debate with policy makers and response to policy recommendations
  • Involvement of AU-EU Plug-in Youth fellows as ambassadors of the continental dialogue to the AU-EU Summit.

Conference Participants

Youth representatives will have a major role in the conference and engage in discussions and development of recommendations.

About 300 participants from all over Africa, the diaspora and Europe are expected. More specifically:

  • AU Member States’ Directorates responsible for Education/ Employment
  • AUC departments
  • Regional Economic Communities
  • AUC Higher Education, TVET and Youth Expert Groups
  • Representatives of EU member states partnering with the AU
  • Business community
  • Education institutions
  • Civil society and Youth organizations
  • Youth fellows of the AU-EU Plug-in initiative
  • International partner organizations
  • Development cooperation partners
  • Media

Expected Outcomes

  • The dialogue will clarify joint goals for AU-EU actions in matters of African youth and facilitate alliances for education and skills development for employment and entrepreneurship.
  • Tangible recommendations on ways to involve the business community in skills development, education and employment promotion. The recommendations will be presented at the AU-EU Summit.
  • Signed declaration affirming the African business community as a partner in ensuring employment oriented skills development and education
  • Quantifiable input for policy recommendations as well as clear guidelines and pathways for continued dialogue.
  • A clear understanding of AU’s strategies on youth and education and existing African-European programmes in youth skills development, education, and employment.