Category: Policy Documents
Location: Lusaka
Year: 2017



Youth unemployment remains a huge challenge the world over. It is for this reason that world leaders have decided to address issues of employment through the Goal 8 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030): “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all ”, which was adopted at the UN Summit in September 2015. Progress in addressing youth employment challenges will be specifically assessed by Indicator n°8.6 which states that “by 2020 substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, training and education‟‟.Similarly, leaders of the Great Lakes Region are concerned with the high level of unemployment among the Youth because they constitute the majority of the population. Further, lack of decent jobs in the labour market can increase the temptation of young people to join militia groups while many countries are still in the post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding processes. In this context, leaders of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) collectively committed to address the challenge of Youth unemployment. It is why the Heads of State and Government adopted the 2014 Declaration on the “Fight against Youth Unemployment through Infrastructure Development and Investment Promotion”, during their Special Summit on 24th July 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. They decided to “consider the youth employment crisis as a disaster that can undermine our economies, threaten the peace and destabilise our institutions if it is not addressed” (Resolution N°1). The Nairobi Declaration was informed by evidence-based recommendations on the situation of Youth unemployment in the 12 ICGLR Member States from a two-year consultation and analysis process facilitated by our scientific organ, the Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre for Democracy and Good Governance, in partnership with the Regional Youth Forum and other key stakeholders including representatives of governments, civil society, private sector and development partners.I am glad to share with you the 2018 - 2022 Regional Strategy and Action Plan (RSAP) for addressing Youth unemployment through Infrastructure Development and Investment Promotion as per Resolution n°39 of the Special Summit on Fighting Youth unemployment directing the Conference Secretariat, in consultation with Member States, to develop one in order to facilitate
implementation of the Nairobi Declaration and strengthen coordination among ICGLR Member States. This RSAP was adopted by the Member States Ministers in charge of Youth Affairs during their meeting on 9th June 2017 in Livingstone, Zambia and endorsed by the 7th ICGLR Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government on 19th October 2017 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
This RSAP seeks to provide a road map for Youth employment creation through coordination and sharing of experiences at the regional levels. It is a framework document for governmental, inter governmental, civil society and private sector action for and with young people in the Great Lakes Region. Its main purpose is to promote synergy, coherence and complementarity among interventions of key national and regional stakeholders and facilitate effective fight against Youth
unemployment. We need to make a difference and achieve results in this critical area. This is why I encourage all Member States to develop their respective National Action Plans with a focus on key challenges and potentialities as directed by the 7th ICGLR Ordinary Summit in October 2017 in order to expedite effective implementation of the Declaration on Fighting Youth Unemployment. Finally, the Conference Secretariat is willing to pursue its efforts to coordinate initiatives and towards this end facilitates sharing of experiences among the Member States and other key stakeholders for effective implementation of this Regional Strategy and Action Plan for implementing the 2014 Declaration on the fight against Youth unemployment in the Great Lakes Region.

Ambassador Zachary Muburi-Muita
ICGLR Executive Secretary
Bujumbura - Burundi

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