ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 18 August 2017 – The African Union Commission (AUC) and SOS Children’s Villages International will collaborate to host a Pan-African Youth Empowerment Conference in Addis Ababa from 22-25 August 2017. The conference will feature high-level officials, private sector representatives and young people from 47 African countries to lead the process of formulating a roadmap that seeks to foster youth employability and entrepreneurship on the continent.
According to recent figures from the African Development Bank, there are 480 million young people on the continent today (a number is expected to grow to 850 million by 2050), with 10 million to 13 million entering the job market every year. But only 3 million are getting wage employment.
“Across Africa, young people are facing challenges finding decent employment and climbing out of poverty. With more than 65% of the population being under the age of 35, securing employability and self-employment for young people, achieved through innovative approaches, could be the best weapon to fight against poverty and the numerous associated challenges,” said Ms Prudence Ngwenya, Head of Human Resources and Youth Development at the AUC.
Ms Ngwenya went on to state that, “Active participation of young people in shaping their future is pivotal to put in place policies and strategies with sustainable solutions. The exchange will bridge the gap that exists between policies and young people’s interest.”
Mr Dereje Wordofa, International Director for the Eastern and Southern Africa Region of SOS Children’s Villages International, further explained: “The conference will allow young people to share their perspectives with key stakeholders on the opportunities and challenges they face, but also they will explore opportunities for job creation, entrepreneurship and self-reliance. This will enable them to be effective contributors to their communities and national development schemes, as well as to be competitive at a global level.”
The three-day conference will form a basis for the African Union Commission, SOS Children’s Villages and partners to address Africa’s high levels of youth unemployment while contributing to goals set out in Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the global Agenda 2030.
For more information contact:
Christian Fleming-Communication Officer-African Union Commission-FlemingC@africa-union.org
Feven Getachew-Regional Brand and Communication Advisor-SOS Children’s Villages International-Feven.Getachew@sos-kd.org
About the African Union
The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of all 55 countries on the African continent. It was established on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and launched on 9 July 2002 in South Africa, with the aim of replacing the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states. The AU’s secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa. In 2013, as part of its 50th anniversary celebrating the founding of the OAU, the AU adopted Agenda 2063, a blueprint for achieving an Africa that “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.” More information on the African Union and its work can be found at www.au.int
About SOS Children’s Villages International
SOS Children’s Villages is the largest non-governmental organisation focused on supporting children without parental care and families at risk. The organisation was founded in 1949 and today runs more than 2,300 programmes reaching more than a million children and adults in 135 countries and territories. SOS Children’s Villages adheres to the principle that every child grows best in a family environment, with loving parents or caregivers, living together with their siblings, in a place they can call home. SOS Children’s Villages works with communities, local partners and authorities to support disadvantaged families, thus preventing family breakdown. More information on SOS Children’s Villages can be found at www.sos-childrensvillages.org.
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