Africa’s Youth employment and structural transformation through Industries without Smokestacks
On the 6th of September 2019, the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) and the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative hosted a workshop on “Addressing Africa’s youth employment and structural transformation through Industries without Smokestacks” at the Crowne Plaza, Nairobi. Industries without Smokestacks include tourism, horticulture, agro-processing, and transit trade.
The purpose of this workshop was to present the final version of the framework papers, share preliminary results on the South Africa case study, and kick-off other country case studies – including Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Ghana and Rwanda.
In attendance, were representatives from the Youth Council, AERC, Brookings Institute and KIPPRA. In her opening remarks, the executive director KIPPRA, Dr. Rose Ngugi highlighted that KIPPRA had played an active role in youth empowerment, contributing to youth employment opportunities and youth related policies.
The executive director AERC, Professor Njuguna Ndung’u emphasized on the role played by AERC in research, capacity building, specific policy solution and leadership in various fields. Hinged on the youth development in March 2013 the AERC conducted policy seminar on youth issues and development through engagement with different stakeholder.
In his remarks, the Youth Council secretary, Mr. Raymond highlighted the benefit of the workshop and thanked KIPPRA for being at the forefront in giving feasible policy advice to the government. He majored on the how youths are the key impetus to driving Africa to next level through engagement and skills development. He called for opening of sectors that absorb many skilled youth powers in Africa. In Kenya youths accounts for 40% of the population and there is need to leverage this and improve country development agenda along this which will help in enhancing demographic dividend for Africa.
It was noted that there were some commonalities between countries of focus in the study. To build on this and fast track the progress of the research, Brookings Institute shall undertake to ensure contracts for the various country representatives are received in the week beginning 9th September 2019.
Some of the upcoming activities outlined for the project are as follows: The first drafts should be ready by May 2020; a workshop shall be planned to discuss findings of the research; the team shall undertake dissemination of outputs and the initiation of the book project in 2021.
At the end of the workshop, expertise perspectives and insights were shared to enhance the framework papers.
Food for thought: Does the education system affect the growth of some of these industries?
By Owen Kimani