I am currently in the middle of a two week assignment to support experts from subsaharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa and Europe to exchange ideas and experience in getting youth into meaningful employment and income. The challenges are similar across the regions – in addition to the need to create employment opportunities (or encourage self-employment) – prejudice, lack of soft-skills, insufficient platforms for meeting and matching and providing youth with orientation are rife. Employers are complaining that they don’t have the applicants for job vacancies. Youth are stagnating in underemployment or by simply being in the wrong job for them. Economies are slowing and braindrain is hurting attempts to develop sectors such as IT.
German international development cooperation is networking experts from the three regions to get things moving and stimulate ideas, money and collaboration opportunities. http://www.youmatch.global
The willingness to embrace change and work together across sectors and countries is promising. As is the interest in investing in process consultation to ensure that the working groups retain their motivation and energy to collaborate after the workshops here in Berlin have ended.
Thanks to Darius Walker for supporting the workshops and making the participants feel welcome and oriented. Here’s a non-official shot of the subsaharan delegation. The photographer wanted a bit of action! (Photo thanks to GIZ)