Skills, Youth Employment, and Job Creation Technical Working Group for experts and policy makers in East & Horn of Africa takes place in Ethiopia
Addis Ababa – Millions of young people across East and Horn of Africa (EHoA) live in precarious situations because of high unemployment. Many are driven to seek work abroad using irregular channels and means.
IOM, the International Organization for Migration, Regional Office for East & Horn of Africa is bringing together a Technical Working Group of government officials in-charge of labour migration, skills development, youth employment and jobs creation from the Republic of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Djibouti, the State of Eritrea, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, the Federal Republic of Somalia, the Republic of South Sudan, the Republic of the Sudan, the Republic of Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania, representing the Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration’s (RMFM) 11 Member States). The RMFM is the Regional Consultative Process (RCP) established, January 2020, to promote a united approach to safe, regular, and humane labour migration among countries, and is currently chaired by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Labour.
The two-day technical regional meeting taking place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, from 19 - 20 September 2022, aims among other things to activate the technical working group of “Skills, Youth Employment and Job creation” under the auspices of RMFM and sensitize participants on conceptual frameworks, good practices and regional collaborative frameworks, surrounding upskilling, re-skilling and skills recognition, cooperation with the private and public sectors, as well as diaspora engagement for development.
Youth unemployment rates have remained very high in the continent. Around 12.7 percent of the African youth population are unemployed in 2022 and the data is nearly similar in the East and Horn of Africa region, according to the International Labour Organization. According to government officials, every year an average of 800,000 young people try to enter the workforce looking for employment and job opportunities. Economies in the region are struggling to find jobs for the youth. Conflict, political instability, drought among other factors contributing to lower labour and work opportunities.
To add to this, in many countries, young women experience gender discrimination. Employers in many countries, irrespective of gender, display a striking bias towards hiring young men over young women.
“Many young women are not able to enter the labour market easily or to leave earlier because of prejudices and limitations, reducing the labour force participation rates for young women,” says Tatiana Hadjiemmanuel, Senior Regional Specialist for Labour Mobility and Social Inclusion, and BRMM Senior Coordinator IOM/UN Migration Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa.
It is expected that improvements in skills matching in the region, and the recognition of qualifications and competencies, will enable prospective migrants to better integrate into the labour markets in countries of destination, and returning migrants to reintegrate in their countries of origin.
“As IOM, we recognize that human mobility is one of the key solutions to many challenges of our day, including development. The nexus between migration and development is inextricably tied to youth welfare. With this in mind, we are working with the region’s leaders and other relevant stakeholders to ensure young people are better equipped, with productive skills that match the supply and demand of the markets, as well with governments to recognize portability of qualifications and competencies,” says Mohammed Abdiker, Regional Director, IOM/UN Migration, Regional Office for East & Horn of Africa.
The Technical Working Group meeting is supported with funding from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), with support from IOM’s ‘Better Regional Migration Management’ (BRMM) programme, which is funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).