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More than 400 representatives of youth, business, education practitioners and policy-making from 44 countries across the African continent as well as European partners have called for improving job perspectives of the African Youth through employment oriented education and skills development.

The call was made at the recently concluded “Africa Talks Jobs” (ATJ) conference held at the African Union Commission (AUC) headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Recommendations developed at the conference will be brought to the upcoming 5th AU-EU Summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

The recommendations call for a stronger engagement of the African business community in providing opportunities for skills training and joint offers with education institutions.

Governments shall provide the necessary frameworks as well as favourable conditions for young entrepreneurs.

At the same time, education at all levels and youth activities need to better address labour market demands and equip the youth with skills to start their own businesses.

Included in the communiqué is also the call to ensure the recognition of degrees and other qualifications across the continent to enable voluntary labour migration.

The recommendations were handed over to the AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, and the Head of the EU Delegation Ranieri Sabatucci who will submit them to the 5th AU-EU Summit in Ivory Coast.

Some 120 African companies and business associations, under the auspices of Business Africa, have also committed to investing in skills development and partnership with education institutions for job skills education and training.

AUC Commissioner Agbor lauded the business community’s commitment to young people and requested that more companies follow the example set to move from “Africa Talks Jobs” to “Africa Makes Jobs”.

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