An NGO, Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR), has called on Africa leaders to involve youths in policy formulation and implementation in order to reduce unemployment in the continent.
PASGR’s Executive Director, Dr Antony Mveyange, gave the advice at a workshop, organised by the group, in collaboration with Mastercard Foundation (MCF), on Wednesday in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop had, as its theme: “Young Women and Men’s Aspirations and Resilience: Prospects for Livelihoods, Employment and Accountability before, during and beyond COVID-19.”
Mveyange said that most of government policies had not been yielding the desired result because of the failure of policy makers to involve the target audience policy design and implementation.
He said that the purpose of the workshop was to generate evidences on effects of COVID-19 pandemic on youths and determine the need for them to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and reduce unemployment.
Mveyange said that the workshop’s research, which was conducted in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda, would analyse the demands of the youth during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the evidences generated from the research would be used to engage policy makers on interventions to be designed to help African youths to be self-reliant and reduce unemployment in the continent.
“We are not going to draw sample only from Oyo State to make our conclusion; we will also reach out to other states in Nigeria and six other Africa countries.
“It is better for government to listen to youths in order to get an idea of what they really need,” he said.
Also speaking, Head of Research and Policy of PASGR, Dr Martins Atela, said that lots of government policies and programmes could not yield the desired outcomes because the target beneficiaries were not carried along.
Atela said that youths must be carried along in formulation of policies and implementation of programmes that had to do with them, while their voices must also be heard.
“Stakeholders and governments at all levels must listen to the demands of the youths in order to design programmes and policies that are relevant to them,” he said.
In his address, Mr Victor Olojede, Special Assistant to Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Students’ Affairs, called on Nigerians to stop blaming politicians on increasing rate of unemployment in the country.
He said it was high time Nigerian youths developed themselves with right skills and made research in areas that would make them contribute positively to the development of the society.
Olojede called on youths to partner with individuals that had the skills which they did not have in order to be able to compete with their peers and become self-employed, instead of looking for white-collar jobs.
According to him, the idea of waiting for white jobs and blaming politicians for unemployment will not bring development, as government alone cannot provide jobs for all youths.