Youth employment, a priority in the region
The African Development Bank organised a ministerial conference on jobs for young people in Africa, a meeting that was held in Abidjan on 18 October 2016. The event brought together some of the continent’s Ministers of Finance and Youth Employment, young people from Côte d’Ivoire, as well as government officials, leaders of civil society organisations and other private sector representatives from ECOWAS countries. In his speech, the AfDB President Akinwuni Adesina put African youth migration patterns into perspective. Young Africans have a high unemployment rate - only 33% have paid employment. Population growth, which will increase the number of young Africans from 480 million today to 840 million in 2050, will require that countries create many job opportunities for them or risk having serious social, economic, political and security challenges. The meeting was an opportunity for the AfDB to unveil its new strategy for youth employment in Africa, after which participants explored the possibilities for sustainable solutions to promote youth employment and entrepreneurship in the region. At the closing ceremony, Côte d'Ivoire Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan suggested making youth employment one of the prerequisites of ECOWAS integration, which could be evaluated through a monitoring system tracking the progress of ECOWAS countries on youth employment.