The summit started at about 9:02am on the 28th October 2017 with the Vice Regional Coordinator, Yacinthe Gajagan CEO of Craddes NGO Benin Republic our host open the ceremony specially appreciating all the delegates that came for the summit stressing the need to increase advocacy for decent jobs that will tackle poverty, inequality and climate change, that solution of youth unemployment should be from us the young people who currently face that challenge. All support should be channeled to building the capacity of young people to increase their advocacy and awareness campaign that will promote SDG Goal 8 in West Africa.
The International Youth Employment Decade Campaign was delivered by Prince Israel Orekha West Africa Regional Coordinator, who shared insight on the PEGASUS project that is currently championed by NoviaSalcedo Fundicion in Bilboa Spain, an organization with over 35 thirty five year experience in youth development
The youth employment decade campaign is in favour of youth employment as an opportunity and a driving force to transform the economy and social fabric of organizations and countries; the final goal of which is for the General Assembly of the United Nations to declare the “YOUTH EMPLOYMENT DECADE BY 2020-2030”. A declaration that will encourage Member States to consider youth employment as a priority in their policies and that will engage them in achieving the SDG goals 8.
The West Africa Regional Coordinator sighted President Muhammadu Buhari, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2015 pronouncement, that over 60% of Nigerian youths are unemployed, that Nigeria is sitting on a time bomb, if something is not urgently done to address the situation, it will be a catastrophe for the Nation.
According to National Bureau of Statistics in Nigeria says over 22.45 Millions Nigerians are Jobless. More worryingly, the total number of person in full time employment decreased by 2.29% when compared to the previous quarter. The major challenges of young people involving in violence, crime of various degrees in the Nigeria is as a result of lack of decent jobs and poor value system that should positively engage the minds of young people towards productive value orientation and creative mental development. Thereby creating enabling environment to support youth innovations, skill development through youth industrial development park to encourage youth to learn skill that will create jobs for other youth was also stressed.
The Summit is to harmonized ideas from young people, bring together intellectuals, successful youth entrepreneur and development actors in the region, to discuss critical issues and recommend windows of opportunities for sustainable development and youth engagement for decent jobs in West Africa.
The central objective of this Campaign is to align with the United Nations General Assembly to declaration 2020-2030 ‘Youth Employment Decade’ as an opportunity to drive the economic and social transformation of organizations and countries, as a tool to deploy the SDGs 8: “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent jobs for all”.
In reference to Ban Ki-Moon, The former UN Secretary-General calls on governments to invest more in youth employment initiatives. Youth unemployment is an “epidemic” that represents a great test of our time, decent jobs for youth are essential to the future we want. This is therefore a strong cause that needs an urgent attention.
This summit is designed to generate the needed ideas to step up the International Youth Employment Decade Campaign in West Africa, sharing innovative ideas to move the campaign forward during the interactive session for activities for 2018 to 2019; your suggestions will be welcomed.
Guest Speaker, Ms. Sitionon Aka Sandrine Specialist of Climate Education and sustainable livelihood for young women WASCAL Program University of the Gambia: Africa Industrialization and Empowering Women Entrepreneurs:
How I started
She began her presentation: The time for young African to be sincere with our Selves to discover ourselves to advocate inclusion that will create decent jobs, holding our government accountable, if we do not speak truth to our leaders they can’t hear. Young people should begin to envision the future they want to future. women are great source for job creation if they are adequately empowered African Women a active a source of joy to the family and the entire community, a case study of women in Gambia they give their best to create sustainable livelihood for themselves through farming, fishing and tourism -explaining the culture for living. Yet across West Africa Young women face array of barriers to achieving their full potentials , like restrictive cultural practices ,to discriminatory and exclusion from different jobs , they lack security, infrastructural deficiencies ,lack of access to quality education and highly segmented practice among key office.
It is significant to note that Nigeria ranks 118 out 144 countries on the Global Gender Gap index for 2016 put together by World Economic Forum that measures key variables including economic participation and opportunity, education attainment, health and survival, political empowerment see http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2016/.
Gradually young women entrepreneurs in west Africa are now running microenterprises in the inform sector ,engaging in low-value added activities reap marginal return and creating jobs for themselves, though unemployment still remain the major issue affecting young people in this part of the world, intervention from international community and government of west Africa to declare youth employment decade to create decent jobs for our youth will position the region in a better light curbing illegal migration and all kinds of criminality that most of our youths are engaged in.
I started what I doing today by asking myself what I can do to make my world a better place, I have passion for the environment and I think daily how to tackle climate change and recycling waste in our environment to create decent jobs for our youth.
Second Speaker, Abdul Karim Mutawakil a Student Entrepreneur in Real Estate Business from Ghana: Youth Building alliance to advocate for decent job: Abdul who is a student from Madina Institute of Science and Technology Ghana, talked about the need for youth to build alliance and share experience in championing the youth employment decade using this campaign to create opportunity to address youth unemployment situation. He emphasized on the need for team work that make things work. He added that if young people can come together to bring their energy in innovative ideas and connection, we can do a lot to tackle youth unemployment situation. Abdul shared how he started in Real Estate Business; he said he identified a need among his community. Finding asset like lands was difficult in his community, he told us how he sold the only land they have to buy more lands in another underdeveloped community where he is currently living, he has built his house and he is sponsoring himself and wife to school.
- Examine progress to date on key advocacy issues on West Africa youth employment decade campaign, collaboration with focus on understanding key results for engagement
- Explore the impact of young person’s interventions, action and learn forward, to identifying priorities activities for West Africa Youth employment decade 2018-2019
- Build and deepen skills and practice around youth employment decade campaign strategy, tools, and processes
- Sharing and reviewing stories of significant change for decent works
- Create ideas that will ensure some measure of sustainability –built to last campaign /projects for West Africa Youth Employment decade.
- West African’s Advocating for decent jobs :The Imperative for Youth Inclusion in Governance
- The Role of Youth in Enabling Transparency and Accountability in the Extractive Governance: A Sure way for sustainable trans-generational development securing decent jobs for youth.
Anglophone /Francophone Practical Group Session
- Panel discussion on Way forward case studies and best fit strategy for tackling unemployment situations in West Africa
- Climate change innovating decent work for youth a road map for implementing SDG goals 8 in West Africa
- Identify innovations, policy and best fit strategy for advocating for Youth Employment Decade 2020-2030 in West Africa
- Networking, Alliance Building and Intercultural Exchange
MATTERS ARISING ON THE ISSUES OF UNEMPLOYMENT SITUATION COUNTRY BY COUNTRY SPECIFIC
Delegate from the various West Africa countries that where present took time to express the issues of unemployment in the countries, being a major challenge for young people across the sub-region,
Definition of terms
Youth Unemployment could be seen as a situation where young able body youth that are will and able to work but could not find for themselves a suitable job to do; providing decent jobs for youth that leaves no one behind remain the way out to achieving SDG goal 8 in West Africa
The causes of unemployment was also identify Epileptic powers supply as case that has affected unemployment situation in specially in Nigeria with about 140 million do not have electricity to provide small scale youth employment. Where youth unemployment is about 60% of her youthful population are currently without decent jobs If the country has a stable electricity, it can create small scale jobs for youth.
Storytelling and shared experience was the evidence used to validate the issues of youth unemployment and way forward.
Public Campaign strategy in combining interventions to tackling youth unemployment situations was analysis. Discovering innovative ideas, capacity building, research, awareness raising, media, coalition building and project support implementation
What motivate young people to join the campaign:
The campaign is addressing a critical issues of unemployment, more young people will like to be part if awareness about the campaign is brought to their notice,
Increase social media awareness about the youth employment decade campaign
Building capacity of at list 15 youth champions within the West Africa who will go back to step up the campaign in higher instructions and youth community
What specific action would you like your audience to support the youth employment decade?
What key message to policy makers to declare youth employment decade by 2020 to 2030 by all West Africa States Government was also discussed
What to reach our wider audience to join the campaign was also discussed.
GOING FORWARD THE FOLLOWING INNOVATIVE STRATEGY TO INCREASE YOUTH EMPLOYMENT DECADE CAMPAIGN IN WEST AFRICA WAS VALIDATED BY THE SUMMIT PARTICIPANT AS ACTIVITIES FOR 2018 TO 2019.
- DEVELOPING OF YOUTH EMPLOYMENT DECADE APPS:
To increase awareness about the Youth Employment Decade campaign in West Africa.
To enhance public participation in addressing youth unemployment situation in West Africa
Using mobile app technology to track youth unemployment situation and advocating for decent jobs
- DIGITAL STORYTELLING
To bring the voices of the marginalized unemployed youth closer to policy maker (a Short Video)
To declare 2020 to 2030 as Youth Employment Decade by Heads of Government in West Africa
- WEST AFRICA REGIONAL YOUTH CAPACITY BUILDING FOR YOUTH EMPLOYMENT DECADE CHAMPIONS
- WEST AFRICA REGIONAL LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY FOR YOUTH EMPLOYMENT DECADE
To influence youth employment decade at the ECOWAS and Heads of Government in West Africa
To open civic space for decent jobs for youth to tackle unemployment situation in practical terms
- MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
To increase public awareness on the youth employment decade
Production of Posters, Hand bills, T-shirts and other IEC Materials.
Social Media Week on Youth Employment Decade
-Twitter/ Facebook Conference on Youth Employment Decade
- WEST AFRICA REGIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR YOUTH EMPLOYMENT DECADE
To raise awareness on the youth employment decade campaign
- Youth Employment Decade Exhibition: To showcase Youth innovative exhibitions to build pressure on UN to declare 2020 to 2030 as youth employment decade through Catch Them Young Creative Work in the promotion of Youth Employment Decade from West Africa, with collection of Creative Arts, short video, and documentary of Youth Action demanding for the United Nation to declare and mandate all heads of government to ensure decent work for youth that leaves no one behind with value reorientation and Strategic Plans of Action developed by young people to tackle unemployment situations in the region which will be sent to UN, Africa Union , ECOWAS and other international partners. Also to launch African Diaspora Youth Employment Decade Exhibition Summit, to raise awareness for Africans in the Diaspora to support the campaign.
IDENTIFIED PRIMARY SOURCE FOR FUNDING AND SUPPORTING OUR CAMPAIGN IN WEST AFRICA
- Direct support / grant from PEGASUS NoviaSalcodo Fundicion and partners
- Technical support from Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative
- Open Donation /partnership contributions