Skills for Youth Employment and Rural Development in Western and Southern Africa
01/10 - 01/16
This project is part of
The technical cooperation programme Skills for Youth Employment and Rural Development in Western and Southern Africa seeks to increase opportunities for young women and men to find gainful and productive employment through strengthening formal and informal systems of technical and vocational skills provision. Phase 1 of the programme will cover three countries; Benin, Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe with activities to be expanded within those countries and to Zambia in Phase II. The programme will focus broadly on two main areas of action to promote enhanced employment and income generating opportunities through skills development initiatives: 1) introducing the ILO’s Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE) methodology in a number of rural communities to support local economic development, and 2) upgrading delivery of training through systems of informal apprenticeship. Technical and vocational skills are crucial for enhancing competitiveness and decent work. Despite the fact that training in the informal economy is the primary avenue through which people can acquire technical and occupational skills it has, to a certain degree, been neglected. The objective of the programme is to equip more young women and men in the informal economy with skills that will improve their employability in more productive and decent work. This objective is in line with the ILO’s African regional priorities to promote rural and youth employment, and will be in support of the Africa Commission’s objective of realizing the potential of Africa’s youth (see Report of the Africa Commission, May 2009). The programme will also use existing regional entities to support knowledge sharing and development such as the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS). The programme will build on existing positive national, ILO and other international assessments of needs and capabilities such as national Poverty Reduction Strategy Programmes (PRSPs), United Nations Common Country Assessments (UNCCA), United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAF) and ILO Decent Work country programmes (DWCPs). The Programme will work within the guidelines of the Paris Declaration to enhance aid effectiveness by promoting ownership by local partners of programme objectives, harmonizing activities with those of other donor agencies and by focusing on the measurement of concrete results. The programme will implement and adapt a wide range of ILO tools and methodologies to the national context to support the enhanced employability of young women and men, particularly in rural communities that are typically underserved in terms of skills provision and where comparatively fewer employment opportunities are available. It will address in particular the needs of young women who are consistently disadvantaged in access to training opportunities and will feature promoting the employment of persons with disabilities as a cross-cutting issue. The programme will also seek to promote more environmentally sustainable employment with access and training in new technologies – such as in agriculture, food processing, renewable energy, water and land management – that both protect the environment and support livelihoods.