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Title5TH AFRICA THINK TANK SUMMIT Tackling Africa’s Youth Unemployment Challenge: Innovative Solutions from Think Tanks
SubjectYouth Unemployment
Date of Publication201806
Number of Pages59 pages
Geographical CoverageAfrica
KeywordsThink Tanks, Innovation and Youth, Leadership and Youth Unemployment, Jobs Creation and Private Sector, Private Sector and Youth Employment, Critical Technical Skills and Youth Employment, Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment, African Policy Think Tanks, Youth Employment and Agricultural Transformation, Tobacco Control and Youth Employment, Infrastructure and Youth Employment
AbstractThe Fifth Africa Think Tank Summit was held on 5 - 7 April 2018 at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana, under the theme “Tackling Africa’s Youth Unemployment Challenge: Innovative Solutions from Think Tanks”. The Summit’s theme was based on the fact that jobs and opportunity for the youth are top priorities in the world today and while needing jobs, young people are also critical in creating them. It is with that understanding that the African Union Commission declared the years 2009–2018 as the “Decade for Youth Development”. A review, as the decade winds to an end, shows that while some African countries are experiencing high economic growth rates, these have not translated into jobs. The unemployment rate on the continent was approximately 8.0 percent in 2016- 2017, which, translated into absolute terms, corresponds to an increase in total unemployment of 1.2 million from 2016 to 2017. The reality, against which the Summit’s theme was designed, was that across Africa, youth are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults! The Summit’s concept paper, quoting a report from the African Development Bank, notes that “half of all youth (in Africa) are either unemployed or inactive while 35 percent are in vulnerable jobs. While gender inequality remains a challenge, a big concern and paradox is that youth unemployment rate is increasing with the level of education, suggesting that Africa’s education systems are not preparing people enough for the labour market”. Thus, despite the numerous policies and strategies that have been implemented across African countries to address youth unemployment, these have not led to any major breakthrough in job creation especially among the youth. Given these realities and building on the successes of the first, second, third and fourth Africa Think Tank, the fifth was being organized to harvest evidence and proffer actions to tackle youth unemployment on the continent. The 2018 Summit was organized in partnership with the Government of Ghana and the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), a leading think tank in Ghana. Other collaborating partners were the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (CA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Think Tank Initiative, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI) and the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP).
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