Yaoundé - The Skills Initiative for Africa Programme was launched in Cameroon on 7 April 2017. During the launch, His Excellency, Mr Zacharie Perevet, the Minister of Employment and Vocational Training of the Republic of Cameroon maintained that the Skills Initiative for Africa is a timely intervention. “I am very glad because this programme led by the NEPAD Agency is endowed with an instrument that, once implemented, will contribute to the significant reduction of poverty, the fight against unemployment and underemployment of young people,” the Minister said.
According the Minister, the programme will contribute to the improvement of the country’s statistics in the labour sector, as its approach is to support the development of practical skills by focusing on entrepreneurial and professional skills.
“Given the adverse of impacts of unemployment on the continent, such as poverty and inequality, as well as the negative spin-offs that these socio-economic challenges could bring in the form of discontent, especially amongst the youth population, the case is compelling for increased opportunities for the youths, to build desired skill capabilities and enhance their employability in a globally competitive and rapidly modernising labour market,” remarked Mrs Estherine Lisinge-Fotabong, Director of Programme Coordination and Implementation at the NEPAD Agency.
Mrs Fotabong maintained that the Skills Initiative for Africa programme complements the NEPAD Agency’s support to the 2017 African Union theme of Skills and Youth Employment: Yielding Demographic Dividend through investing in Youths.
The launch in Cameroon also provided an opportunity for the NEPAD Agency to gain insights on what the country’s priorities are, in view of the value chains that the programme could support. The value chains include: Rehabilitation and equipping of existing training institutions with state of the art facilities; encouraging entrepreneurial innovative projects amongst youths; bursaries on vocational training; information, communication and technology, and; mentorship on entrepreneurship.
The meeting was attended by various stakeholders from both private and public sectors, including: representatives from German Embassy in Cameroon, members of the diplomatic corps, women organisations, the civil society organisations and media.
Source: NEPAD Agency