Nigeria: Galvanising policies for youth empowerment

By Collins Olayinka

It is often said that while there is an abundance of policies to tackle youth unemployment in Nigeria, the framework to make them produce the desired result is largely lacking.
Labour experts believe that there is an urgent need to fashion out appropriate action plan that is aimed at galvanising various opportunities youth can explore to escape unemployment and under-employment, that spells out responsibilities, timelines, monitoring and evaluation mechanism for implementation of policies.

Speaking at a multi-stakeholder meeting on Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan and the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for the youths in Nigeria, the Director, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Office, Abuja, covering Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, Dennis Zulu, submitted that Nigeria has no choice than to take practical steps to halt the growing youth unemployment in the country.

He explained: “We already see a lot of initiatives in Nigeria that are targeting this challenge. Indeed, Africa has no choice than to tackle this challenge. Youth need to be given jobs because that is the only way they can contribute to building the economy.

Youth of today are facing challenges because the economies of most African nations are not growing in a way that can create sufficient jobs and build budding entrepreneurship.

“Bringing together available frameworks and policies into an action plan by Nigeria is a way to go.”

Zulu added that with technology offering a leeway out of youth unemployment, conscious steps must be taken to provide enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.

“I think the role that the private sector plays is critical. Therefore, there must be an enabling environment for the private sector to grow and create jobs in the process.

In addition to that, the whole issue of addressing skills amongst youth because in some cases the jobs are available but the right skills are not there.

So, tackling unemployment requires looking at it from both the demand and supply sides. Supply side requires arming youth with appropriate skills to be able to get the jobs that are available in the labour market,” he stated.

For Zulu, the absence of action plans to drive policy frameworks has been a major drawback in tackling unemployment generally in Nigeria.

His words: “What we are doing today is an action plan. Usually, the problem is that there are policies often without action plan or policies without budgets.

What are doing today is discussing a national youth action plan, which clearly states what different actions need to be taken, what different strategies needed for the actions and specific responsible organisations. What is needed is not funding because funding is available locally.

So, now we have an action plan that is very clear about activities with timelines, responsible organisations so that at the end of the day, if things are not implemented according to the plan, we know who to hold responsible.”

On his part, the Executive Director, Mind the Gap, Tayo Olosunde insisted that so much more is going on with youth developing solutions to community challenges that is not known to the public.

He said: “We know so much about what is not happening in Nigeria and forget to highlight what is happening. If we don’t talk about what is happening, we would not realise that more can still happen. As we speak, a lot of discerning youths against all odds are developing a lot of ideas, solutions to problems in their communities and are gaining recognition globally.

Firms from all over are coming to Nigeria to tap into the reservoir of ability of our youths to power their economy in the future and even now. Our organisation in partnership with Goggle, which has trained over 1,000 youths in all the states of the federation that are empowered and are gainfully employed. Nobody is talking about that.”

Olosunde submitted that rejigging the education curricula of Nigeria from purely theoretical outlook to entrepreneurial focussed one would be a daunting task not minding the achievements of Nigerian youth in ICT world.

But he insisted that it is doable: “We can achieve that by developing technology. Technology is an enabler that is making very single person that is smart realise that mobile phones are becoming new universities.

People are doing programmes using their phones and getting certificates that are more recognise than certificates that are obtained in the traditional institutions of learning.

So, the discerning young ones are realising that this is the new infrastructure that the government should give them. Government should make the Internet cheap and available. Government can create education porter where resources are made available for the young people to access free of charge.

Source – The Guardian

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Kenya: Youth want unemployment declared a national disaster

Kenyan youth under the auspices of The Youth Congress have unveiled a #NoToUnemployment campaign calling on the government to declare unemployment a national disaster.

This they say will give it the attention and focus that it deserves.

In a statement by the convener Raphael Obonyo, they claim unemployment is a big burden on the lives of many Kenyans especially the youth.

“Currently, over 70 per cent of jobless people are youth. Over 1 million young people join the labour market annually with only a small fraction getting jobs. We have a growing population of educated but jobless youth.” He said

He continued to say that government’s youth empowerment programmes like Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF), UWEZO and 30 per cent quota of public procurement for the youth are not enough compared to population of jobless youth.

” We need massive employment programmes that empower the youth.” He added.

He noted that Kenya is facing one of the greatest national disasters of all time putting the security and future of the country at risk and thus it is imperative for the government to declare unemployment a national disaster to ensure robust and appropriate interventions are put in place.

Source – KBC

Importance of Youth Empowerment

By silky jain

The need to empower youth for a better tomorrow is connected both, to the financial elevation as well as increment of the standard of living. Awareness is a key factor for this empowerment, with guidance towards developing a wholesome outlook of life. Youth empowerment in any development is imperative not only for national development, also for personal development of an individual.

Youth empowerment is pursued by promoting youth rights, youth activism and in community decision making. Empowerment is necessarily a process of inculcating values to equip the learner lead a life that is satisfying to the individual while being in accordance with the cherished values and ideals of the society. At present it is the most effective mean that society possesses for confronting the challenges of the future.

Here are a few reasons why Youth Empowerment is essential

Poverty eradication:

Youth empowerment can help reduce the rate of poverty to a significant level.

One of the keys to empowering the youth is with skill development. When a youth is equipped with essential skills, he can utilize them to feed, assist others, and even invest for future use, aiding the nation economically. This will in-turn contribute to the increase in employability and add to the GDP of the nation.

Good education standard:

Empowerment can help youth to understand the importance of education that leads to social improvement of the country.

When a youth is empowered, he understands the importance of education and helps uplift the sector, integral for a developing nation such as India. Such empowered youth can donate educational facilities to primary, secondary and even to tertiary institutions.

Good governance:

With the inculcation of youth empowerment, the youth can reject the status quo and pave a path for a better future.

Today, the youth is claiming his right to a decent living by willing to take risks, which helps in the development of leadership skills. Starting from Martin Luther King Jr to Justin Trudeau, visionary leaders are noted to have taken risks from a tender age.

In other words, to build a better tomorrow, we need to nurture the saplings of today. Hence, a radical government, which is pro-people, comes from harnessing bright minds capable of taking the nation into a brighter future.

Crime reduction:

Empowerment ensures that youth has the necessary skill to sustain a livelihood, preventing him to adopt the path of crime.

Presently, a lot has been spent in the name of fighting crime without understanding that crime affects the youth in an intrinsic level. It is easy for a young impressionable mind to get waylaid and get entrapped in anti-social activities because he was not empowered morally, academically as well as financially.

There are serious social and economic consequences associated with not addressing the youth who is at the risk of negative circumstances – not only for the youth himself and his family, but also for the society at large.

Empowerment enables a young mind to differentiate the wrong from the right, denouncing the path of injustice for a respectable living.

In today’s day and age, young minds should have access to resources to transform their consciousness through their beliefs, values, and attitudes.

Nigeria: Unemployed youths, grave threat to security, development – FG

The Federal Government says the increasing number of unemployed youths in the country poses a great threat to the nation’s security and socioeconomic development.

Mr Olusade Adesola, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, said this at a Multi Stakeholder meeting on the ‘Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan and Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youths’ in Abuja.

The programme was organised by the Sports Enterprise and Promotion Department of the Ministry, in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

In his remarks at the occasion, Adesola said that youth unemployment remains a great challenge in the country and there was an urgent need to mitigate the problem and provide opportunities for economic engagement of the youths.

“To this end, the government with support from the ILO, developed the youth employment action plan which targets youths between the ages of 18 to 35, to address the fragmentation and harness technical and financial resources for meaningful impact.

“The energy, adaptability, creativity, openness to new ideas and learning are some of those things that makes Nigerian youths valuable potentials.

“The energy, adaptability, creativity, openness to new ideas and learning are some of those things that make Nigerian youths valuable potentials.

“These potentials of youths when not recognised, becomes a source of tension with negative consequences to national growth and development.

“With this understanding on the importance of youths, efforts are being made at regional, national and global levels, to set up structures and mechanisms to promote youth development focused on employment and sustainable livelihood, health care and education opportunities,” the official said.

He, however, expressed displeasure over the strict measures put in place by foreign embassies to obtain visas by youths scheduled to travel for international entrepreneurial conferences.

“I crave the indulgence of the ILO to engage all the missions and countries represented in Nigeria; when we present requests for visas to them for our youths to participate in international conferences, please let them look at those requests objectively.

“Our experiences in the past have not been palatable, any request to them with invitation they turn it down.

“They are not migrating but to acquire knowledge that when they come back, can help contribute to the development of Nigeria, ‘’ Adesola said.

On his part, the Director ILO country office in Nigeria, Mr Dennis Zulu, said that the national development plan directly targets the creation of jobs for the teeming population of unemployed youths in the country.

“It is important we work with many of the organisations to come up with a blueprint for job creation for the youths in Nigeria, which is coherent, integrated and which will stand the test of time,” he said.

Also speaking, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, commended the ILO for its interest and commitment in partnering with Nigeria towards addressing the challenging unemployment problem in the country.

He said the administration of President Muhammodu Buhuri has high premium placed on curbing the menace of youth’s unemployment and crimes in Nigeria.

“As part of the strategy to address the current unemployment problem, the ministry with the support of the ILO had reviewed the National Employment Policy that has been approved by government.

“The reviewed policy is a veritable instrument in addressing increasing disparity between economic growth and low capacity within the economy and to create decent and sustainable employment in the country, ‘’Ngige said.

Source: Pulse NG

SebenzaLIVE helps SA’s youth find work

An increasing number of qualified youths are looking for jobs in South Africa but have no luck finding any because of their lack of confidence or experience, or because they do not know where to find the right business opportunities.

SebenzaLIVE, now part of the SowetanLIVE website, is all about giving these youths a career kick-start by helping them present themselves better and achieve their goals.

Being informed is the key to success, so we will publish practical advice about employment; lifestyle and fashion tips for the young person who has just started working or is looking for a job; and even helpful information about starting or managing a small business.

We’re here for high school pupils; students enrolled at higher education and training institutions; graduates; unemployed youths; and small-business owners or entrepreneurs.

We will share practical information on internships, learnerships, bursaries, apprenticeships and small-business programmes and events organised by government departments and agencies, companies and corporate foundations.

You’ll also find features about the work lives of young people from different industries, to illustrate how they overcame obstacles in their own lives to pursue their dreams.

Source: Sowetan

Nigeria News: Grooming Youths in the Build Industry to Tackle Unemployment

Considering the alarming rate of youth unemployment in the country and its negative effect on the economy, the Universal Learn Direct Academy is empowering youths to solve the endemic housing and infrastructural problems in Nigeria. Funmi Ogundare reports

Youth development and empowerment have been recognised as vital stages in life for building the human capital that allows young people to avoid poverty and live better, and possibly have a more fulfilling life. The human capital formed in youth is thus an important determinant of long-term growth that a nation can invest and rely on.

Hence, making sure that youths are well prepared for their future is enormously important to the course of poverty reduction and growth.

In response to the clarion call by the federal government to develop and empower the Nigerian youths to enable them contribute to the development of the country, the Universal Learn Direct Academia (ULDA) Limited recently held a seminar on self-employment skills in the building and construction industry which featured topics on ‘Study Gap Industry Preparedness’; ‘Emigration Backup Plan’; ‘Self-employment MSME Skills’; and ‘Trading Opportunities for Women in the Construction Industry’.

In his remarks, the visioner of ULDA, Mr. Gbola Oba enjoined the youths to connect their skills to their passion, saying that it is one thing for them to be a graduate of a particular course and it is another thing to be skilled in what they are passionate about.

He cited instances of people who studied courses in the social science and developed skills set in the building and construction industry, adding that they are now abroad and making it big.

“The best way to solve Nigeria’s problems is to empower the youths. They need to create values by connecting their skills to their passion; there is no reason why they should fail. If they must leave the shores of Nigeria for greener pastures, they must be equipped to justify their stay abroad.”

He told THISDAY the importance of empowering youths to solve the endemic housing and infrastructural problems in the country, saying that it will help in curbing the menace of poor quality infrastructure and undignified housing in Nigeria.

“The engagement is not only for those who are in the construction industry that would solve these problems, it may be those who are entrepreneurial with passion that will help us solve the sustainable problems, hence the need for the session to engage youths to drive many plans and inspire them.”

Aside creating employment, Oba said the academia trains social entrepreneurs who will be problem solvers and focus on the opportunities that the building and construction industry present anywhere in the world. “If you want to galvanize the economic activities in any society, just tell people to put in place a building project, which is multidisciplinary bringing together artisanship and professionalism.”

Oba described the youths as the best reflections of the country’s values while expressing concern about the problems inherent in ensuring that youths are equipped with the requisite skills in the country.

“There is a fundamental problem in the system which showed that we have failed. Imagine I had to beg some boys in Mushin to come and empower themselves with skills, even people that are not related to me have been taken to Dubai, they are bricklayers and we have done skills training for them.

“They are now literate, despite the fact that some of them dropped out of secondary schools, they can now read structural engineering joints and electrical drawings. The ones in Dubai now will be taking over structural sites because they know the job. We should encourage people to go for trainings so as to ensure a sustainable development in our society like other countries.”

He expressed concern about the over stratification of education and industry in the country, saying that it inhibits the level of competence one should have.

Source: This Day

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