August 23rd 2017

Business / News

The African Development Bank to create 25 million jobs in East Africa

The bank is also organizing five Regional Ministerial Conferences on youth employment and entrepreneurship between now and 2017 and before the year ends three conferences will be held in West Africa, East Africa and North Africa.

By Soilan Kenanaskenana@kenyafreepress.comSaturday, 03 Dec 2016 17:41 EAT

The African Development Bank has adopted a Jobs for Youths in Africa (JFYA) Strategy for the period of 2016 to 2025 which responds to the priorities set out the Bank’s Ten Strategy and is aligned to the New Corporate Priorities (High 5s). This will create productive jobs for the youths to improve their living conditions and enhance their engagement in Africa’s growth and economic transformation.

The implementation of the JFYA strategy has an objective of creating 25 million jobs and reaching 50 million youths. The objective will be accomplished through trainings focused on employability, entrepreneurial support and the reduction of the existing skills mismatches in the next 10 years and thus reflecting on the extensive engagement kept with stakeholders including African governments, the private sector the youth and CSOs throughout the design.

The bank is also organizing five Regional Ministerial Conferences on youth employment and entrepreneurship between now and 2017 and before the year ends three conferences will be held in West Africa, East Africa and North Africa.

Speaking at the Jobs For Youth In Africa (JFYA), East African Ministerial Conference at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi on Friday, Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Minister Sicily Kariuki pointed out that one million people are in need of a job in Kenya and Kenya has the largest unemployed youths in East Africa with 17%, compared to Tanzania and Uganda that have 6% of unemployed youths.

Ms Kariuki said that 92% of the unemployed youths have formal education but lack basic and entrepreneurial skills to establish enterprises, whereby the JFYA strategy is planning to invest in education and health for the youths.

The government of Kenya has allocated funds but cannot cover the demands of every young people in the country, Sh200 billion has been set aside for youths and people with disabilities yearly whereas takes deliberate effort to engage key stakeholders in youth empowerment and nurturing skills.

The Director of Human Development at the African Development Bank Dr Sunita Pitamber said that 31% of African youths are either unemployed or discouraged and highlighted some working challenges in Africa; 74% of the 297 million jobs are self-employed and 56% are labor force work, insufficient jobs, skills and supplies which make it difficult to connect youths to employment.

AFDB priorities response as she outlined are; power and light up Africa- JFYA provides human capital for energy companies through fit-for-purpose skills enhancement zones. Feed Africa-provides human capital to fuel the growth of agro-industrial companies in prioritized value chains. Integrate Africa- JFYA influences RMCs for stronger quality standards and improved regional trade that creates markets and better enables the flow of human capital across the continent. Industrialize Africa- JFYA creates skills enhancement zones around industrial clusters to influence and provide capacity building for policymakers to support SME development and industry-aligned training.

JFYA aims at driving inclusive growth across the continent and equipping African youths to realize their full economic potential.

In attendance were Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru ICT Kenya, Hon. Salim Mohamed Abderemane Minister of Youth, Employment, Professional Training, Culture and Sports Comoros, Mr. Said Hussein Lid Minister of Livestock and Pasture Somali, Hon. Mpozeriniga Felix, Minister of Public Service, Labor and Employment, Burundi and Mr. Negatu Gabriel, East African Regional Director, African Development Bank.

Oscar Ndunda contributed reporting for this article

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