Category: youths

Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Skills Development Forum (YEES-Forum)| 2016


Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Skills Development Forum (YEES-Forum)| 2016

Theme: ‘Enhancing partnerships for 21st Century Skills: youth as job creators, not job seekers.’

The African Union Commission in collaboration with ECOWAS, the National Agency for the Promotion of Youth Employment in Senegal and YALI are pleased to announce a call for applications to the Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Skills Development Forum (YEES-Forum). The forum aims at bringing young African entrepreneurs to learn, network, share experiences and good practices, motivate each other and showcase their businesses and thereby be an inspiration to one another. The YEES forum is scheduled to be held from the 5th of October to the 7th of October in Dakar Senegal. This forum targets the Francophone Countries and follows the inaugural forum that was held in Kenya in 2014 targeting Anglophone Countries. 

The YEES forum is driven by the realisation that interventions focused on linkages will improve the value chain by enabling the flow of critical services through embedded arrangements. In addition to peer to peer linkages, these interventions shall also focus on linking regional competitive youth entrepreneurs to industry champions thus addressing some of the challenges faced by young people, particularly women in business and providing a platform for peer learning. 

The forum aims to attract entrepreneurs with scalable businesses who are currently employers of labour and are interested in working towards a better Africa.

Participants at the forum will benefit from:

  • Improved business development skills through practical workshops;
  • Collaborative learning and sharing of experiences to increase success rates for
    business start-ups among young entrepreneurs;
  • Opportunity to identify successful business men or women to act as Mentors
    for young entrepreneurs;
  • Opportunities to engage with young entrepreneurs in dynamic sectors of the emerging intra-Africa trade including extractives and agri-business.

The program will include:

  • Training: Training sessions on core business development including building
    a sustainable financial structure and personal development. The sessions will
    also introduce participants to various mentoring techniques as well as new tools for effective mentoring.
  • Exhibition: This exhibition will give opportunity to young entrepreneurs to
    showcase their products and explore new market opportunities. Business
    development service providers will also be invited to proffer advice to the young entrepreneurs.
  • Field Visits: Participants visit a successful enterprise owned by young
    entrepreneurs in the host country. This is expected to inspire the participants
    and serve as successful models for their own enterprise development and
  • Experience Sharing: Key business organizations and leaders will be identified
    to facilitate the forum. The regional entrepreneurship development platform to
    be established shall provide back stopping for experience sharing, mentoring
    and business development services

Date and Venue: The YEES Forum will take place from 5th to 7th of October 2016 in Dakar Senegal.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Open to Citizens of African Francophone Countries;
  • African youth between the ages of 15 and 35. Women are strongly encouraged
    to apply;
  • Must be able to speak and work in at least one AU working language (English,
    French, Arabic or Portuguese).

Participation Cost: Young entrepreneurs can sponsor themselves to this workshop and there is also a limited number of scholarships available to entrepreneurs. Please indicate if you will be interested in sponsorship while applying.

Interested participants are therefore requested to express their interest in
participating in this forum by applying via the following link: on the 12 September 2016 by 11:59pm (EAT).

We are looking forward to your application!

Land for Life Youth Social Media Activist Challenge

Are You the ONE?

The Land for Life Youth Social Media Activists Challenge: “Are You the ONE?” campaign aims to recognize active, passionate and dedicated young people who are currently active in conserving natural resources and promoting such actions to their peers and local communities via social media. Winners' initiatives, stories, experience and /or challenges encountered, ideas or solutions will be communicated and highlighted through UNCCD’s various communication channels such as social media platforms and website. 

It is an Opportunity for individual and community projects / stories to get access to valuable networks and gain recognition from a worldwide audience. Thus we encourage all young people who are actively working for environmental justice to send us your initiatives and stories.Your stories could be in the form of short  documentaries, short videos, pictures, short stories, artistic work.

Who can Apply?  If you are  between 16-40 years old,  and you belong to the  group of young people  that will play a decisive role in shaping the future, we welcome your application. Please see the application guidelines for further details. 

Who is considered Youth Social Media Activist?
UNCCD secretariat considers a youth social media activist as young people who are passionate, dedicated and actively working to promote environmental justice; sustainable land and natural resources management or land conservation via different social channels and platforms.
If you are Bloggers, YouTubers, Young Journalists, Youth Leaders, Students, Artists, Celebrities, or young people who are active in social movements, community organizations, and have the quality of the mentioned Youth Social Media Activist, YOU may be the ONE we are looking for…

Open for submission: now till 31 October 2016

Language of​​ submission: Any of the six UN Languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian). If the content is NOT in English, please provide professional English translation.

How Winners will be rewarded:

  • Top 3 winners will be sponsored to attend a UNCCD International Youth Event co-organized with Future Forest 
  • Winners will be recognized as Land for Life Youth Social Media Activists for a period of one year and receiving a certificate.
  • Winners' story will be published and promoted through UNCCD communication channels.
  • Winners will be invited to present their work at international events.
  • Winners will be expected to promote all UNCCD campaigns with their networks.

For more details, please contact: [email protected]

Tap from the pool of young African professionals

When the development of Africa is discussed, most stakeholders often focus more on finances and may be logistics. Human resources are usually overlooked. The few who do think about human resources show little attention to the vast and ever-growing pool of young African professionals based both in and out of the continent. Companies carrying out projects in various industries across the continent have until now depended largely on non-African professionals. The most common flimsy excuse for not using African professionals even in projects for Africa is that, it is hard to find qualified and experienced Africans to do the job. Paradoxically, African countries like Congo (Brazzaville) experienced an unemployment rate of up to 66.9% in recent years and over 20 other African countries have experienced an unemployment rate of between 20 to 40% from 2012 to 2016 according to . Many platforms uniting African professionals exist. Their common goals are to profile, categorize and orientate these experts towards areas where maximum use of their expertise is in need. One such platform is The African Chamber of Commerce (AFCHAM). Inspired by demands for African professionals by foreign companies investing in Africa, the organization now has a project called the AFCHAM-HR Directory. It is a rich pool of African professionals in any industry you can think of and most of them are all available to start work ASAP as long as the working conditions are right. Hiring from the AFCHAM-HR Directory is advantageous in the fact that most of the ground work like general background check and preliminary basic skills evaluation are guaranteed and endorsed by AFCHAM, making it easy for the recruiter to focus more on skills related to the particular position in mind. All professionals listed in the program have been checked by AFCHAM officials although this is not an ultimate guarantee that the recruit will satisfy the needs of the employer. Companies or individuals interested in using the AFCHAM-HR Directory service simply have to submit their requests to AFCHAM at [email protected] and the department will get in touch for further discussions regarding their needs. It is worth noting that companies in need of African professionals are not necessarily companies based in Africa. Many companies based in other countries need African professionals for other reasons related to their businesses. African university graduates and working professionals aiming at greater heights in their careers are invited to join this program and get listed as soon as possible before the pool gets flooded. Submit your CVs and portfolios to AFCHAM at [email protected] and the department will be in touch to evaluate your skills, career interests before getting you listed. African professionals who are already registered members of AFCHAM enjoy more privileges in this program such as advice on CV writing and interview coaching. The future of the African continent is in the hands of young African professionals who currently form about 65% of Africa’s population. The African Union in its program dubbed Aspirations for 2063 puts it in the following words: “The aspirations reflect our desire for shared prosperity and well-being, for unity and integration, for a continent of free citizens and expanded horizons, where the full potential of women and youth, boys and girls are realized, and with freedom from fear, disease and want”. The time is now. D. Nkwetato