The 4th African Youth and Governance Conference (AYGC) has called on African Governments to establish a national youth development fund to help address youth unemployment and development issues on the continent.

The fund, according to the AYGC should be seeded with 1% allocation of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of African countries.

This was contained in a communiqu? issued at the end of the Conference, which brought delegates from 35 African countries to Ghana, dubbed ?Partnership for job creation: A Wheel for Transformational Governance?.

The AYGC stated that there was no financial institutional structure to finance youth entrepreneurship and cater for youth developmental needs in Africa, adding that, private-public partnership models were not sufficiently synchronized with youth entrepreneurship programmes.

?The AYGC have noted the lack of country-based, national agendas that clearly outline long-term, properly funded and well coordinated programmes dedicated to the advancement of Africa?s youth.?

The Communiqu? said despite some efforts by African governments to address youth unemployment and youth development issues, they remain overwhelmed by the magnitude of the challenges.

?Only 5% of the eligible University enrolment ages are in University in spite of the efforts in promoting higher education, the problem of youth unemployment is much bigger when we consider the larger African population that has not received any formal education or employable skills.?

The AYGC therefore urged government to include entrepreneurship education in the educational systems at all levels, upgrade national educational infrastructure to match labour market requirements, as well as develop a holistic educational system to provide guidance and career counselling to the youth.

It mentioned the need to intensify partnership with the private sector and development partners to provide the platform to prepare African youth for the job market, and assist young entrepreneurs to establish businesses at the national, regional and sub-regional levels.

The Communiqu? called on Development Partners to promote sustainable partnership, networking and integration of youth in national development efforts and deepen direct engagement with African youths as partners in designing solutions to developmental challenges.

The youth were advised to be proactive through continuous learning and knowledge seeking to build their capacities for meaningful representation and engagement at all levels, as well as embrace volunteerism as a cost effective means to develop skills and gain experience.

The AYGC since its inception in 2009 had offered the platform for African youths to meet and deliberate on pertinent issues relating to youth unemployment and present workable models to address such issues for African youth empowerment, the Government of Ghana, through this Conference launched the National Youth Policy to demonstrate its commitment to youth development.

Source: GNA

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