Category: Policy Documents
Location: Lusaka
Year: 2015

Review

Foreword by the Executive Secretary
Youth unemployment constitutes a complex social-economic issue and poses a challenge to peace-building, the security and stability of many African countries, and particularly, those in the Great Lakes Region. It is linked to rapid population growth and the lack of job opportunities for young people. Unemployment represents a major threat to our Region which has been characterised by violent conflicts since the 1990s where young people have
been both victims and actors. The adoption of a Regional Policy to Fight against Youth Unemployment by the ICGLR Special Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 24th July 2014, demonstrates the determination of our Governments to collectively overcome this key challenge. The forty resolutions set out in the Special Summit’s Declaration of Heads of State and Government are elements of a holistic approach which takes into account all the dimensions of the problem. The objectives of the priority action areas are as follows:
- To create a favourable environment for investments and socio-economic development;
- To harness infrastructure development in order to fast-track opportunities for decent jobs and inclusive growth;
- To review the education system and promote entrepreneurship and innovation;
- To facilitate young entrepreneurs' access to funding;
- To ensure youth representation in decision-making bodies;
- To mobilise additional resources for youth issues;
- To monitor, evaluate and coordinate public policies and interventions.
The Youth Employment Promotion Policy is inspired by the recommendations of an operational research on the unemployment situation among young people in our twelve Member States and consultations held on this theme that drew the participation of the Region’s stakeholders with the facilitation of the Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre for Democracy and Good Governance, which is the technical arm of the ICGLR Secretariat.
The dialogue process on the best policy options to address youth unemployment, benefitted from the active participation of national experts from Member States, private sector representatives, development partners and the civil society, including the ICGLR Regional Youth Forum that fully played its role.
This Regional Policy is also an integral part of the process of implementing the commitments made by Heads of State and Government of our Member States when they signed the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region in 2006. The ICGLR instruments recognise the need to empower and involve youth in social, political and economic dynamics. Article 48 of the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration on Peace, Security, Democracy and Development in the Great Lakes Region (2004), which is a component of the Pact, acknowledges the necessity to secure jobs for young people as a way to strengthen stability in the Region. Member States are requested to « formulate national and regional policies that promote the employment of youth and develop appropriate regional ICGLR, Youth Unemployment in Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo: A Challenge for the States and Societies. ICGLR Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre, Research Report N°1, Lusaka, July 2014 ; and ICGLR, Youth Unemployment in Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia : A Challenge for the States and Societies. ICGLR Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre, Research Report N°2, Lusaka, July 2014. financing mechanisms so as to give them more access to micro-finance institutions, investment opportunities in trade and control of production factors such as land, property and capital». Furthermore, the decisions made by the ICGLR Heads of State and
Government during the 4th and 5th Ordinary Summits held in Kampala, Uganda, on December 15 and 16, 2011, and Luanda, Angola, on January 15, 2014 respectively reaffirmed the collective commitments of the Region to seek solutions to youth unemployment. I would like to call on all our Region’s stakeholders to take ownership and implement this Regional Policy for the good of our children and the inclusive development of our Member States. We also count on the continued and renewed support of technical and financial partners that are active in the Region in order to effectively achieve the ambitious goals set
out by our Governments. To this end, we encourage various countries to quickly develop a national action plan with a view to implementing the Special Summit’s Declaration. The Conference Secretariat will spare no efforts in mobilising the synergies of Member States through a Regional Action Plan that is in the pipeline and monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Regional Policy.

Professor Ntumba Luaba
ICGLR Executive Secretary
Bujumbura
February 2015

 

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