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SA praised for tackling youth unemployment

A speaker at the African Resilience Forum says SA has systematically worked on addressing unemployment.

A group of young people took part in a march against unemployment in Cape Town. Picture: EWN

ABIDJAN – Independent panelists at a session of the African Resilience Forum have praised the way in which South Africa is working towards solving the issue of youth unemployment in the country.

‘Improving the lives of youth through jobs for a resilient Africa’ was one of the themes at the two-day conference hosted by the African Development Bank in the economic capital of Ivory Coast this week.

The answer to the question of youth unemployment across the continent is complex, but the International Labour Organisation’s Deputy Director, Regional Office for Africa Cynthia Samuel-Olunjuwon says South Africa's on the right track.

“One of the things that they have done in South Africa, which we supported them in, is to look at the definition of unemployment... so that when they look at their statistics they're able to show not just unemployment as defined globally, but real unemployment... what they call expanded definition of unemployment.”

Samuel-Olunjuwon adds one of the major challenges in addressing youth unemployment is a lack of labour market information, but says South Africa has systematically worked on addressing it from different perspectives.

Meanwhile, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa's Oley Dibba-Wada has commended South Africa for being one of a handful of countries with a youth fund, but says it’s time for authorities to do the listening.

“It will be an ongoing process, but I think it’s an opportunity for us to really start listening to the youths and hearing what they are saying.”

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)

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