Bosting Digital Economy
Accelerate partnerships towards decent jobs and digital skills for youth in Africa
Africa’s growing youth population and the continent’s transition to the digital economy represents a huge opportunity to bolster African economies while addressing the important levels of unemployment and working poverty among young people.
In a virtual discussion with representatives from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and BUSINESSAfrica on 15th September 2020Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa will be part of a pilot joint programme on Boosting decent jobs and enhancing digital skills for youth in Africa’s digital economy,
“This programmes contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the overarching objective of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, the Call for Action adopted by the 2012 International Labour Conference, and the UN Youth Strategy: Youth 2030. At the Continental and regional level, the programme, which is also supported by the African Union,”said Ms. Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, the ILO Deputy Director General and Regional Director for Africa.
The virtual meeting was initiated to seek an initial understanding of potential governments, donors, funding mechanisms, investors, international financial institutions, regional development banks, private sector companies, civil society organizations, technology and training providers to engage for the programme and within the national context to engage with to achieve decent jobs and enhance digital skills for youth.
Mrs. Jacqueline Mugo the Secretary General BUSINESSAfrica appreciated the partners approach towards anchoring the programme from a perspective on understanding the real issues on the ground. “Jobs and unemployment have to be addressed through the lens of an enterprise and the job seekers perspective. We look forward to exporting the good practices and upscaling the learnings and lessons picked from the pilot project.” said Ms. Mugo
In 2019, African governments issued a strong commitment to embracing technology, expanding broadband internet access, and equipping all Africans with the appropriate digital skills to leverage the growing digital economy. At the national level, the programme will integrate with each participating country’s own plan for digital development and employment development for youth.
Mr. Andrew Rugege, ITU Regional Director for Africa urged employers to support the program as they have a key role in realizing on the job training. “ITU will work with employers to look for job demand and ensure that institutions develop relevant skills for the market,” he stated. He also urged employers to open their doors for internship opportunities that will provide graduates with on the ground skills necessary for the job market.
The aim of the program is job creation and entreprenuship opportunities in the digital economy, investing in youth digital skills and preparing private and public employment services for the digital era.