Zambia Green Jobs Programme participates in the Eastern and Southern Africa Youth Employment Knowledge Sharing Forum
Harare, July 27. The Eastern and Southern Africa Youth Employment Knowledge Sharing Forum adopted key youth employment policy recommendations with a focus on job creation, entrepreneurship, youth participation and a coordinated approach among key players.
Organised by the ILO Harare office in Zimbabwe, the four-day Eastern and Southern Africa Youth Employment Knowledge Sharing Forum attracted over 200 creative young men and women, representatives of the government, workers' and employers' organisations, the UN System, development partners, academia, and civil society who came together to discuss key employment strategies, entrepreneurship development, and access to finance for young entrepreneurs.
Making the official opening statement, The Hon. Prisca Mupfumira, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare reiterated the government's commitment to generate employment for youth through the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation Framework (ZIM-ASSET). The Minister also called for more practical solutions towards achieving sustainable empowerment for the youth and emphasised the need to prioritise youth mainstreaming, skills development and promotion of youth entrepreneurship.
The Zambia Green Jobs Programme (ZGJP) featured as an official part of the conference programme as well as part of the knowledge fair which ran parallel to the forum. ZGJP Chief Technical Advisor Mr Tapera Muzira illustrated in his presentation how youth employment can be promoted through a value-chain development approach. Mr Evans Lwanga, ZGJP Enterprise Development Officer, gave an overview on how to create jobs in the construction sector by focusing on sustainable building principles.
In the closing session presentation on 'Rethinking Youth Employment Coordination', ILO Country Office Harare Director, Ms Hopolang Phororo stated that "Youth unemployment is a national priority, which is of interest to several players, it is also a national problem with no clear answers, it's a cross cutting issue involving many players and no single entity has resources or autonomy to address it alone."
To avoid overlaps and duplication, the Director proposed an integrated collective impact approach, where a group of actors commit themselves to a common agenda for solving youth employment by better aligning and synchronising the various coordination elements.
For those who could not personally attend the forum, live interactions via Twitter hash tag #YOUTHEmployment were made possible.
For more information on the outcome of the Eastern and Southern Africa Youth Employment Forum please follow the link.
Youth unemployment in Africa is characterised by a youth population much higher than most other regions worldwide, weak national labour markets and persistently high levels of poverty. The Zambian youth, like many young people in developing countries, face challenges such as high unemployment rates, poor quality of education and educational opportunities, limited civic engagement opportunities, high HIV prevalence rates, teenage pregnancy, and early marriage. In Zambia, young people make up a significant proportion of the available labour force, yet unemployment rates for 20- to 24-year-olds have been estimated to be as much as five times greater than for older adults (ZIPAR 2013).
In order to try to overcome these and other issues facing the youth, the Zambian Government has outlined key priorities in the National Youth Policy, which includes measures to reduce youth unemployment and improve the coordination of national youth programmes.
The Zambia Green Jobs Programme is part of the UN Zambia response to the growing consensus over the importance of placing employment at the centre of all national development efforts in order to reduce the rising challenge of unemployment, especially among women and young people.