United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, and head of UNOWAS, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas has urged African governments to invest in creating enabling environments for youths to flourish.
According to him, this will enable the continent reap positively from the potential of the youth, as their skills and creativity can be tapped into by governments for constructive national development.
He was speaking in a webinar organised by the University of Professional Studies, Accra on the theme Terror, Regional Security and Elections.
His statement was in response to a question on how African leaders could ensure that the youth begin to see the fruits of their political leadership in relation to the recent #EndSARS protests in Nigeria.
The recent #EndSARS protests had metamorphosed from a protest against police brutality to several other pressing issues in the country including high rates of unemployment in the country.
Dr. Chambas advised governments to find creative solutions to meet the demands for employment by the youth, as the problem was based on the growing young population on the continent.
“It is one that requires a broad partnership and acting on several forms. But the first important starting point is to acknowledge that we do indeed have a problem of a youth bulge on the continent, and to seek to address it.
“I mean youth bulge in the sense that we have a growing population of young people and it can actually be an advantage. It should be an advantage because that leaves a very youthful dynamic, agile, healthy population if we want to create that environment which allows the full potential of the youth to be harnessed, to be tapped and to be used for constructive purposes of national development.
For that matter, he recommended that educational opportunities be made available for the youth along with the “relevant training that will make people in a world dominated by information technology to acquire all the necessary skills to be able to be useful and productive members of society.”
He further stated that the United Nations through their Sustainable Development Goals Agenda was partnering with the youth and women in order to solve issues of unemployment and inequality on the continent.