Abidjan, July 23, 2014. The Conference of Ministers on “Providing the African Youth with the Skills and Training for Jobs”, the proceedings of which began on July 21, was officially opened yesterday by the Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Finance and Budget of Côte d’Ivoire, the Hon. Daniel Duncan Kablan. The conference is organized by the Inter-Country Quality Node on Technical and Vocational Skills Development (ICQN-TVSD), which is led by the Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Vocational Training of Côte d’Ivoire, in partnership with ADEA.
The opening ceremony was held in the Palais des Congrès conference center of the Hôtel Ivoire in Abidjan, and attended by 20 ministers and 7 ministers’ representatives from all the sub-regions of Africa, members of the Côte d’Ivoire government, the diplomatic corps, and technical and financial partners.
Considering that the problem of employment as one of the greatest challenges facing Africa in its efforts to reduce poverty and accelerate its sustainable development, Daniel Duncan Kablan called for strong inter-country mobilization to address the urgent need to take measures to facilitate young people’s access to the labor market: “Young people are our most valuable resource for the development of the continent,” he declared. “They are the ones who must drive and disseminate economic and social modernization.”
The State Minister for Employment, Social Affairs and Vocational Training of Côte d’Ivoire, Hon. Moussa Dosso, highlighted the quality of the work done by the experts, in a meeting the previous day, to provide African governments with concrete recommendations for promoting the integration of young people into their countries’ economic activity; involving the private sector and business organizations in the design, implementation and evaluation of tracks and mechanisms for technical and vocational skills development (TVSD); and pursuing the development of new forms of apprenticeship and work/study training.
These proposed paths of action are based on the experts’ analysis of studies produced by the 28 countries that participate in the ICQN-TVSD’s activities. The ICQN-TVSD Coordinator, Mr. Amara Kamaté extended his warmest thanks to the technical and financial partners who financed the studies.
The spokesperson for youth, Assale Prisca, voiced an appeal to the decision-makers to provide more training and job opportunities for young people, as well as tax relief to encourage business creation. Ms. Prisca also argued for youth involvement in the formulation of education and training reforms, to ensure that young people’s needs and expectations are properly taken into account. “Young people are only asking to participate in their countries’ economic growth and to be trained and supervised, as long as they are given a chance to develop their skills, she declared.
ADEA Executive Secretary Oley Dibba-Wadda stated that ADEA would give full support to an action plan for the ICQN-TVSD that is geared toward vigorous action and the search for concrete solutions for tackling the problem of youth employment. She also declared that ADEA would encourage strong private sector involvement in both ADEA and ICQN-TVSD activities as well as the development of leadership skills and that she would take care to ensure that the specific needs of young women are taken into consideration.