Meeting of the ICQN-TVSD Working Group on Youth Integration

Date: 
3 Dec 2012 to 4 Dec 2012
Location: 
Abidjan
Côte d’Ivoire

Introduction

The second meeting of the Inter-Country Quality Node in the field of technical and vocational skills development (ICQN/TVSD), which was held in Abidjan from 19 to 21 September 2011, led to a decision by the ministers and ministerial representatives of the 20 countries present to create three working groups: a working group on youth integration into the labour market, a working group on national qualifications frameworks, and a working group on the role of the professional branches in the field of TVSD. This concept note is intended to implement the first of these working groups.

Please refer to the ICQN Meeting documents in box below :

Conference Report

    • Conference Report, PDF

Documents

    • Tentative Programme, PDF
    • Draft Concept Note, PDF

Context and justification

The African economies, like those of the developed countries, are failing to create jobs. Between 2000 and 2007, the labour force in Africa grew by 96 million, while the number of jobs increased by only 63 million (ILO). Young people, the first victims of this lack of jobs, now account for 60% of all those unemployed on the African continent, leaving aside those who have given up hope or are visibly underemployed (ILO, World Bank).

This socioeconomic situation explains why social and vocational integration has become a priority, if not an outright emergency, for many African countries. The countries of West Africa are currently making significant investments in setting up informational and support programmes to assist the numerous unemployed and discouraged youth to get back into the world of work. Inspired by the Services Platform (the "PFS") set up by Côte d'Ivoire, four countries are in the process of starting or expanding vocational integration programmes. These include, in addition to Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. Other countries, such as Benin and Burkina Faso, have adopted specific vocational integration measures and are considering the establishment of a PFS. Mali, for its part, has a programme to support youth entrepreneurship.

A services platform, it should be noted, involves a process of organizing vocational training and integration in line with the economy that brings together all the organizations working in this field. In the case of Côte d'Ivoire, the platform is being implemented at the local level with all the concerned partners, public and private. It is being coordinated nationally by a non-profit association that brings together the Agency for Vocational Training (AGEFOP), the Agency for the Study and Promotion of Employment (AGEPE), the Development Fund for Vocational Training (FDFP) and the National Solidarity Fund (FNS).

These various efforts show that youth employment is at the heart of the policies being implemented in the sub-region. The recent declaration of Niamey, which concluded the annual meeting of the WAEMU Ministers in charge of Employment and Vocational Training, has asserted that every effort must be made to promote job-rich growth and to give young people the technical and vocational skills they need to integrate into the workplace as quickly as possible. The unemployment and hopelessness affecting young people have harmful consequences for the economy, society and the world of work.

  • One out of every two young people who join an insurgency declare that unemployment was their main motivation (World Bank);
  • Young people's future vocational development is largely determined by the skills and experience they accumulate or, on the contrary, have no opportunity to accumulate, at the start of their working lives (OECD/ADB);
  • There is a very real social and financial cost to a lack of vocational integration, which can be seen in particular in the need to retrain youth who have been excluded from any vocational activity for too long.

For more information about this Meeting, please contact Mr. Hamidou BOUKARY : h.boukary@afdb.org