Morocco’s Unemployment Falls Slightly, Youth Unemployment at 27.5%

BY MOROCCO WORLD NEWS

According to a note by the High Commission for Planning (HCP), 122,000 jobs were created: 118,000 in urban areas and 4,000 in rural areas.

The service sector and “industry including traditional industry” generated 98,000 jobs and 19,000 jobs, respectively.

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing generated 9,000 jobs, while construction and public works lost 4,000 jobs.

HCP added that, during the same period, there were just over 1 million unemployed people, down by 64,000 people at the national level since the same period last year.

The unemployment rate in urban areas fell from 14.9 percent to 14.3 percent. In rural areas it fell from 4.6 percent to 3.9 percent.

However, the unemployment rate remains relatively high among youth aged 15-24 (27.5 percent). The rate among women and those with degrees is 13.8 percent and 17.1 percent, respectively.

The unemployment rate of those with a vocational training certificate is 23.9 percent: 36.5 percent for women and 19.3 percent for men.

HCP found that approximately 57 percent of unemployed people have never worked before, and 67.7 percent have been unemployed for a year or more.

Approximately 26.8 percent are unemployed because they were fired or their employer’s activity was suspended.

SOURCE: MOROCCO WORLD NEWS

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Youth and Revolution in Tunisia

By Alcinda Honwana

The uprising in Tunisia has come to be seen as the first true revolution of the twenty-first century, one that kick-started the series of upheavals across the region now known as the Arab Spring. In this remarkable work, Alcinda Honwana goes beyond superficial accounts of what occurred to explore the defining role of the country’s youth, and in particular the cyber activist.

Drawing on fresh testimony from those who shaped events, the book describes in detail the experiences of young activists through the 29 days of the revolution and the challenges they encountered after the fall of the regime and the dismantling of the ruling party. Now, as old and newly established political forces are moving into the political void created by Ben Ali’s departure, tensions between the older and younger generations are sharpening.

An essential account of an event that has inspired the world, and its potential repercussions for the Middle East, Africa and beyond.

Reviews

‘Alcinda Honwana’s study of the Tunisian revolution is remarkable for its extensive use of the views of Tunisia’s youth about the roles they played and the marginalisation they feel over the events of 2010 and 2011. Her book gives us a rare insight into the way in which the downfall of the Ben Ali regime was encompassed and what has happened to the aspirations of those most immediately involved. As such it is an invaluable addition to our knowledge of the wider revolution in the Arab world today.’ – George Joffé, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge

‘Alcinda’s book is an excellent analysis of the youth’s contribution in the Tunisian revolution. This comes as no surprise as Alcinda was able to build excellent relations with the youth who spoke with her openly about their role in the revolution as well as their hopes about the future.’ – Hakim Ben Hammouda, special advisor to the president of the African Development Bank and former chief economist and sirector of the Trade, Finance and Economic Development Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Source: African Arguments

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How can young people secure a better future for Africa?

With 70% of Africa’s population under the age of 30, we as a continent are presented with a great opportunity and, possibly, a great challenge. Young Africans today are taking actions that not only have an immediate impact, but will also determine the future of the continent for decades to come.

Never has there been such weighty responsibility on the shoulders of young people. Never has there been the influence in the hands of young people like the influence they carry now. But for Africa to reap the dividends she has longed for, it is up to our generation to make sure that influence is channelled correctly and directed towards relevant issues that affect not only ourselves, but generations after us. This can only be achieved if we come together as young people and begin to address the challenges before us as a continent.

The role of African youth is drastically changing, but so are some of the challenges we face, such as employability and entrepreneurship opportunities. The strength of any society is within the strength and resolve of its youth – what investment are young people making in our continent today?

In the past 6 months, I’ve listened to the argument stating that we have spent more time focused on what’s happening in other continents, like the US presidency, and less on local issues. I have had the privilege of being invited to speak at different platforms across Africa and have met and engaged with fellow young people who know less about my country Zimbabwe but more of what’s happening in the US and in Europe, and these discussions brought us to a conclusion that as a continent we have not done a good job in telling our own stories, both good and bad, affecting our people. (Could you tell us a bit about your background here – in what capacity are you listening to these arguments?) There are important matters such as the thousands of lives of fellow Africans lost at sea when trying to leave the continent for greener pastures, youth unemployment, gross mismanagement of government institutions and resources, xenophobia among our own people and the general restlessness and frustrations of young African people.

There’s no problem with us engaging in discourse at a global level, but I feel it is important for us to exert more of our time and energy on issues that affect our continent and our people. I believe if we, as youth, don’t take ownership and responsibility for our problems and challenges, we run the risk of allowing other nations, organizations and institutions to do so on their terms. My question to fellow young Africans is are we creating a future in which generations after us can be confident?

A lot has been said about Africa and its rise in the past few years. For this to be true, I believe it requires its people to also rise and drive the agenda, not wait for instruction or direction from other nations. If this doesn’t happen, Africa may still rise, but only for those with an agenda for the continent. This then begs me the question of fellow young Africans: what is our agenda, and what are we doing to shape that agenda?

With regard to employability, according to the African Development Bank report, by 2050 Africa will be home to 38 of the 40 youngest countries in the world, with median populations under 25 years of age. This will result in an estimated 10-12 millionnew people joining the labour force each year. These statistics clearly indicate that a considerable amount of investment must go into human development to unlock a demographic dividend. What innovative policies and programmes do we, as young people, want to make sure that this happens and that this growth will not result in a demographic time bomb for Africa?

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution upon us and the rate at which technology is advancing it is critical that we have a sufficiently educated and skilled workforce to be able to drive Africa in this direction. There is currently a mismatch between industry demands and the education curriculum. Education institutions need to update their curricula to align with the direction in which the world and Africa are going. If we ignore this, our young people will have irrelevant qualifications that the continent will be unable to benefit from.

It is worrying to note the rate at which young educated Africans are leaving to seek more opportunities abroad. The grass is not always greener on the other side, however, as leaders of other nations are also facing domestic challenges and therefore not prioritizing immigrants. If our educational institutions can include entrepreneurship as a mandatory subject at all levels of education, more young people will be better equipped to create jobs and address the issue of high unemployment.

I am a strong advocate for local solutions to local challenges, but for this to happen, we need to encourage and cultivate innovation among our youth. It is encouraging to note that there are pockets of this already taking place across the continent, where we can see uptake and use of locally-designed technology. More of this needs to happen across the board, covering the different sectors of our economies, as Africa still lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to introducing disruptive technology. Human development is about creating opportunities and building a person’s ability to innovate and be entrepreneurial. Significant investment needs to go towards this.

With the growth of the continent, it only makes sense for us to industrialize in order to be less reliant on importing products for consumption from outside the continent. According to the African Economic Outlook 2017 report, Africa’s growing population is expected to generate a rise in consumer spending from $680 billion in 2008 to $2.2 trillion in 2030. This increased spending has the potential to lead to greater prosperity.

The growth in Africa’s population presents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurial innovations and ideas to be implemented. It does, however, require strong political will to enable the right environment to be created to encourage these ideas and for entrepreneurs to be supported in their different stages of growth, from start-up, early stage and growth stage right through to becoming large corporations.

As you may notice, this article asks more questions than it provides solutions. The best way for us to answer these is if we begin to engage in conversations and dialogue amongst ourselves as young Africans and see what solutions we can come up with for a better Africa. We spend time complaining about poor leadership in our countries, but my final question is: are we ourselves prepared to succeed the generation that precedes us?

Let us intentionally create a culture that encourages the building and shaping of the Africa that we want. The change we want begins with us coming together and developing our own culture and value system for thinking, planning, implementation, accountability, integrity and collaboration. It is up to us as young Africans to shape the narrative of our continent. Let us begin to do so, in every sphere of society.

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3 ways Africa can unleash the potential of its youth and women

By Vanessa Moungar

Everyone deserves a fair chance at life. However, the reality is that getting a fair chance depends on your context.

Today, tens of millions of young Africans enter the job market expecting employment, which they won’t find. Consequently, discontent is growing, young people are roaring, and in some capitals, they are taking it to the streets. There are many reasons to explain these high levels of joblessness, from lack of skills to poor education quality. Across Africa, millions of boys and girls are still out of school, which dramatically reduces their chance of realizing their potential. In particular, many girls are married off at a young age instead of staying in school. Missing on their rights to self-determination, they end up having more children than they would have wanted and becoming victims of abuse in cases where marriage becomes the only source of economic survival.

African leaders have recognized the urgency of investing in Africa’s women and youth to ensure they are productive agents of their growing economies. Indeed, they have articulated the African Union 2017 Roadmap around the theme of harnessing the demographic dividend. But this can’t be business as usual. African states need to invest with ambition, focus and efficiency to ensure that youth that are educated and empowered today become productive agents of their growing economies tomorrow. Beyond policy, governments will need to work closely with the private sector, multilateral organizations and civil society to scale up the programmes that work, and make that agenda a reality. Following that call from the African Union and the United Nation’s Population Fund, a global partnership of stakeholders from the various sectors is being assembled to advise and provide practical solutions to Empower, Educate and Employ women and youth.

Here are some of the top priorities:

Empower

Young people need to have the space to express their aspirations and to be part of building Africa’s future. Civic participation in nation building is central to reducing youth vulnerability and maximizing human capital investments. Indeed, young people have a role to play in ensuring accountability from their government and must be empowered to become the real custodians of their future.

Besides, no country in the world has ever achieved a demographic dividend without making a significant investment in access to family planning. Fertility is higher in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere in the world and falling very slowly. There, in addition to enforcing laws to prevent child marriage and scaling up cash transfer programs for school attendance, governments must leverage partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry as well as logistics experts to bring family planning options to women everywhere, even in the most remote areas. They can ensure private health insurance covers family planning and education, work with media to open conversations about family planning or marriage age, and partner with community based organizations to engage communities.

Educate

Progress has been made in school enrolment in recent decades, as more children are accessing school today than at the turn of the century. However, 130 million girls around the world are still being denied an education — and 51 million of them are here in Africa. And among the ones having the privilege of going to school, many are not learning or completing their studies.

To change this, a radical shift is needed in the way education is financed and how those funds are used. For starters, increased financing for education is needed from both international donors and domestic resources. But importantly, any increase in financing must be matched by country-level reforms that increase effectiveness and improve accountability around spending. This includes public-private partnerships to review and adapt curriculum and training to market needs. New technologies open the door to much progress in both reach and quality of education, and vocational training models have proven successful in speeding up school to work transition. Finally, by incentivizing private sector investment through a competitive education market, governments can encourage the creation of first class regional educational institutions.

Employ

Policies to facilitate job creation need to be dramatically accelerated on the continent, to absorb its bulging working-age population. Current global efforts through the African Union and the G20 Compact with Africa can support the creation of a significant number of jobs. Harmony between both global processes is imperative to create mutually reinforcing synergies. The G20 Compact must dovetail into what the African economies need to harness this demographic dividend. Talk is cheap however, so all stakeholders – regional and international – must keep their promises and match their words with actions.

Governments must also incentivize youth employment and leverage the multiple existing private-sector-led initiatives to expand internships, apprenticeships and on-the-job training. Beyond these jobs, youth needs policies that enable easier access to business capital, which can happen through microcredit and SME financing programmes in partnership with the banking sector. Overall, competitiveness must improve for markets to offer opportunities to entrepreneurs, as well as to attract larger investors in sectors with job-multiplier effects, such as manufacturing, agro industries and ICT.

These are some of the top-line, priority recommendations. And the good news is that most of these laws and programmes already exist. They just need to be implemented or scaled up. It will require government coordination across many areas, clear and practical national plans, and optimum engagement of civil society, the private sector and the international community at large, to mobilize the adequate capacity and investment required.

Investing in young people, particularly girls, is one of the most powerful steps a nation can take to spur progress and advancement for all its citizens. For Africa it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s a must do for the continent to survive and thrive.

Source: World Economic Forum

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How can young people secure a better future for Africa?

By Gerald Chirinda

With 70% of Africa’s population under the age of 30, we as a continent are presented with a great opportunity and, possibly, a great challenge. Young Africans today are taking actions that not only have an immediate impact, but will also determine the future of the continent for decades to come.

Never has there been such weighty responsibility on the shoulders of young people. Never has there been the influence in the hands of young people like the influence they carry now. But for Africa to reap the dividends she has longed for, it is up to our generation to make sure that influence is channelled correctly and directed towards relevant issues that affect not only ourselves, but generations after us. This can only be achieved if we come together as young people and begin to address the challenges before us as a continent.

The role of African youth is drastically changing, but so are some of the challenges we face, such as employability and entrepreneurship opportunities. The strength of any society is within the strength and resolve of its youth – what investment are young people making in our continent today?

In the past 6 months, I’ve listened to the argument stating that we have spent more time focused on what’s happening in other continents, like the US presidency, and less on local issues. I have had the privilege of being invited to speak at different platforms across Africa and have met and engaged with fellow young people who know less about my country Zimbabwe but more of what’s happening in the US and in Europe, and these discussions brought us to a conclusion that as a continent we have not done a good job in telling our own stories, both good and bad, affecting our people. (Could you tell us a bit about your background here – in what capacity are you listening to these arguments?) There are important matters such as the thousands of lives of fellow Africans lost at sea when trying to leave the continent for greener pastures, youth unemployment, gross mismanagement of government institutions and resources, xenophobia among our own people and the general restlessness and frustrations of young African people.

There’s no problem with us engaging in discourse at a global level, but I feel it is important for us to exert more of our time and energy on issues that affect our continent and our people. I believe if we, as youth, don’t take ownership and responsibility for our problems and challenges, we run the risk of allowing other nations, organizations and institutions to do so on their terms. My question to fellow young Africans is are we creating a future in which generations after us can be confident?

A lot has been said about Africa and its rise in the past few years. For this to be true, I believe it requires its people to also rise and drive the agenda, not wait for instruction or direction from other nations. If this doesn’t happen, Africa may still rise, but only for those with an agenda for the continent. This then begs me the question of fellow young Africans: what is our agenda, and what are we doing to shape that agenda?

With regard to employability, according to the African Development Bank report, by 2050 Africa will be home to 38 of the 40 youngest countries in the world, with median populations under 25 years of age. This will result in an estimated 10-12 millionnew people joining the labour force each year. These statistics clearly indicate that a considerable amount of investment must go into human development to unlock a demographic dividend. What innovative policies and programmes do we, as young people, want to make sure that this happens and that this growth will not result in a demographic time bomb for Africa?

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution upon us and the rate at which technology is advancing it is critical that we have a sufficiently educated and skilled workforce to be able to drive Africa in this direction. There is currently a mismatch between industry demands and the education curriculum. Education institutions need to update their curricula to align with the direction in which the world and Africa are going. If we ignore this, our young people will have irrelevant qualifications that the continent will be unable to benefit from.

It is worrying to note the rate at which young educated Africans are leaving to seek more opportunities abroad. The grass is not always greener on the other side, however, as leaders of other nations are also facing domestic challenges and therefore not prioritizing immigrants. If our educational institutions can include entrepreneurship as a mandatory subject at all levels of education, more young people will be better equipped to create jobs and address the issue of high unemployment.

I am a strong advocate for local solutions to local challenges, but for this to happen, we need to encourage and cultivate innovation among our youth. It is encouraging to note that there are pockets of this already taking place across the continent, where we can see uptake and use of locally-designed technology. More of this needs to happen across the board, covering the different sectors of our economies, as Africa still lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to introducing disruptive technology. Human development is about creating opportunities and building a person’s ability to innovate and be entrepreneurial. Significant investment needs to go towards this.

With the growth of the continent, it only makes sense for us to industrialize in order to be less reliant on importing products for consumption from outside the continent. According to the African Economic Outlook 2017 report, Africa’s growing population is expected to generate a rise in consumer spending from $680 billion in 2008 to $2.2 trillion in 2030. This increased spending has the potential to lead to greater prosperity.

The growth in Africa’s population presents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurial innovations and ideas to be implemented. It does, however, require strong political will to enable the right environment to be created to encourage these ideas and for entrepreneurs to be supported in their different stages of growth, from start-up, early stage and growth stage right through to becoming large corporations.

As you may notice, this article asks more questions than it provides solutions. The best way for us to answer these is if we begin to engage in conversations and dialogue amongst ourselves as young Africans and see what solutions we can come up with for a better Africa. We spend time complaining about poor leadership in our countries, but my final question is: are we ourselves prepared to succeed the generation that precedes us?

Let us intentionally create a culture that encourages the building and shaping of the Africa that we want. The change we want begins with us coming together and developing our own culture and value system for thinking, planning, implementation, accountability, integrity and collaboration. It is up to us as young Africans to shape the narrative of our continent. Let us begin to do so, in every sphere of society.

Source: World Economic Forum

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African governments should make long-term investments in children, youth

The rapidly increasing of children and youth population in Africa poses a great challenge, which could otherwise be an opportunity if well harnessed, a new report revealed.

The African Report on Child Wellbeing 2018: Progress in the Child-Friendliness of African Governments, which was published in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Friday, warned that Africa could be home to a billion angry, under-fed, under-educated and under-employed children and young people by 2050.

The report also urges African governments to commit themselves to massive long-term investment in nutrition, health and education of their children and young people so as to avert the danger.

Noting the challenges rising from the population boom in the continent, the report indicates that Africa is sitting “on a demographic time bomb.”

“Without massive long-term investment in nutrition, healthcare, education and employment, the growing child and youth population could become a huge burden, exacerbating poverty, inequality, unemployment and instability and creating a serious human development crisis,” it showed.

Assefa Bequele, Executive Director of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), which compiled the report, said that Africa can choose to reap the demographic dividend, nurture its human capital and accelerate sustainable and equitable development.

“Children have the potential to transform Africa – but if neglected, they will exacerbate the burden of poverty and inequality, whilst posing a serious threat to peace, security and prosperity,” Bequele said.

According to ACPF, close to half of all deaths in under-fives in Africa are associated with under-nutrition, while African children may attend school in large numbers, but they are not learning. Two in every five children leave primary school without learning how to read, write or do simple arithmetic.

The report was compiled based on the Child-Friendliness Index (CFI), which ranks 52 African nations on progress towards realizing the rights and wellbeing of children.

The CFI rates countries including Tunisia, South Africa, Egypt and Namibia as the most child-friendly African countries.

While South Sudan, Cameroon, Zambia, Liberia and Eritrea were among the least child-friendly countries.

The ranking was made based on a range of indicators including nutrition, education, budgets and social protection, it was indicated.

Source: Xinhua

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NYLC: Youths are solutions to Nigeria’s problems

By Victoria Onehi

Youths have been charged to see themselves as solution to Nigeria’s problems. This charge was given by Senator Dino Melaye while making remarks at the National Youth Leadership Conference, held in Abuja on Tuesday.

Melaye while speaking on the theme of the conference ‘2019 and Beyond: Leaders Nigeria Needs’ said the future of the country was in the hand of the youths. “As youths of this country, you need to grab it, you need to take charge and you need to overcome fear.” he said.

In her speech, the special guest of Honour and former Minister of Women Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina said the youths were leaders for today and tomorrow.

“Nigeria Youths like their counterparts in other countries if given the opportunity are very dynamic, very versatile, intelligent, dedicated. The empowerment and contribution of the youths towards nation building cannot be ignored as it is the essential element for sustainable development,” she said.

Chairperson of the National Youth Leadership Conference (NYLC) Miss Chimdi Neliaku, said the conference is aimed at raising the consciousness of young people to know qualities they should look out for in the leaders they should vote for in 2019 and beyond.

Source: Daily Trust

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1.2million Ugandan youth idle- population report

By Betty Amamukirori, Apollo Mubiru

In the report, the proportion for idle female youth was almost three times higher than that of their male counterparts.

POPULATION

KAMPALA- 1.2 million youth in Uganda between the ages of 15 and 29 are idle, the state of Uganda Population report 2018, has revealed.

The report which was launched on Thursday at Sheraton Hotel by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) stated that the youth are neither in employment nor education or training.

In the report, the proportion for idle female youth was almost three times higher than that of their male counterparts. The proportion was also higher for youth in urban areas (17%) compared to those in the rural areas (12%).

The share of idle youth, the report indicates, increased from 12% in 2013 to 14% in 2015.

“The idlest youth are female (19%), those resident in urban areas (17%), Northern (17%) and central (16%) ,” states the report.

The report warns that the existence of idle youth poses a challenge in the journey towards harnessing the democratic dividend and attaining sustainable development and calls on Government to deal with it heads on by ensuring that the youth population is productively utilised in the economy.

“This can be done by devising interventions to curb the problem of idle youth or strengthening programmes aimed at youth empowerment, for example the Youth Livelihood Programme, or revisiting the Youth Venture Capital,” it suggests.

Among the employed youth, the report notes that there are wage differentials by gender in favor of the male. The youth in public sector earn more than those in private sector while those in Northern and Eastern region are the least paid.

The agriculture sector employs the highest number of youth, followed by trade, manufacturing and then the transport sector.

On the youth unemployment rate which now stands at 6.5%, the report attributes it to mismatch between skills obtained through the education system and labour market demands.

Dr. Patrick Birungi, the director development planning at National Planning Authority (NPA) noted that demographic dividends must be harnessed to realise economic transitions by strategically investing in human capital.

“There must be a deliberate effort to improve the quality of a youthful population entering the work force to enhance productivity,” he said.

Birungi said the education system should be constantly reviewed to suit the need and changing demands of the labour market and that there must be targeted imparting of skills to youths in priority areas such as entrepreneurship, vocational and technical training as well as work ethics.

“Effective contribution of the population to economic development and equitable distribution of development outcomes among different population groups and categories requires good governance inform of charismatic leadership, good planning, favourable policies, transparent and accountable institutions as well as responsive systems,” he said.

In order to benefit from the Youth bulge, he said the national employment policies should be consistent with international labour laws and should encourage the youth to engage in gainful employment.

He noted that employment policies such as access to reliable market information through job bureaus, equal opportunities in young men and women, mentoring and coaching, may go a long way in bringing a critical proportion of youth into gainful employment.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga noted that there is need to rethink the education policy in the country, noting that the education institutions still churn out white collar job seekers.

She noted that the country is still far from achieving its target of having a polytechnic in every constituency.

“We continue to churn out white collar students yet we have no jobs. We need to look at this and ensure that we prepare our people for job creation,” she said.

Kadaga said focus should shift to changing the attitudes of people who despise vocational training.

Source: New Vision

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