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Proceedings of the Panel Discussion on the Theme « Youth and Development »

As part of its program of advanced political dialogue and operational reflection for developmental governance, the AGI and IDEP organized, on October 17, 2011, in partnership with the Economic and Social Council of Senegal, a panel discussion on the theme ’Youth and development’.

Chaired by His Excellency Mr. Lamine Keita, Minister of Youth and Recreation of the Republic of Senegal, the meeting had three main objectives :

  • To permit a comprehensive approach for the theme of ’Youth and Development’ ;
  • To reflect upon the impact of the theme of ’Youth and Development’ on public policy implementation and enable the Economic and Social Council to strengthen its capacity in its role as an initiator of innovation and an agent of change for development ;
  • And to identify the priority areas for a roadmap to deepen the initiated reflection.

Bringing together some sixty participants (social and economic advisers, parliamentarians, representatives of youth organizations, members of civil society, representatives of national structures in charge of youth, researchers, academics, experts, ....), the meeting was further amplified by its being held on the ’International Day for the Eradication of Poverty’ whose theme for 2011, as pointed out by Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi - Executive Director, a.i. of the AGI, is « From Poverty to Sustainability : People at the centre of Inclusive Development. »

In this regard, the Vice Chairman of the Economic and Social Council of Senegal, Mr. Mademba Sock noted that three objectives should be pursued : supporting the development potential of the youth, contribution to the improvement of their qualities of life and the strengthening of their participation in political decision-making.

Three main interventions fed the participants’ discussion. That of Dr. Makha Dado Sarr, former Deputy Executive Secretary of ECA and the AGI Resource Person, on the theme ’Political economy as a framework for understanding the problems of youth as a major issue of development’ ; that of Pr. Thione Diop Ibrahima, Director of CREA, on ’The Instruments/tools of political economy enabling a proactive analysis of the theme Youth and Development’ ; and that of Mrs. Couty Fall, Regional Project Coordinator for Youth Employment - UNDP CRD, on the ’National Action Plan for youth employment : a tool for social cohesion.’

After the panelists’ interventions followed by high quality exchange which was moderated by the Chair of the Panel, the participants welcomed such interfaces of multi-stakeholder dialogue and agreed on a few points. First was the importance of political economy for a comprehensive approach to salient governance issues. Another was the need to integrate population dynamics, that of state/society relations, as well as the plays and strategies of actors they infer in environments marked by unequal distribution of wealth, as analytical tracks for the theme of ’Youth and Development’.

Finally was the centrality of youth employment as a driver of all development public policies. To this end, some thoughts were advanced in an attempt to comprehensively address this multisectoral issue of governance : leave normative approaches and classic institutional responses which are often injunctive for a more proactive perspective that incorporates a detailed evaluation of the labor market in Senegal and in other African countries, perform a critical and participatory assessment of the supply of training (including for youth and other disadvantaged populations), professionalize the curricula, use alternate schools, introduce the validation of acquired experience, recruit by simulation taking into account the actual demand of the labor market and changes in professionalities, strengthen communication around the developed national action plans for employment, ... .

The panel ended with an expression of hope for the establishment of a mechanism for the monitoring/evaluation of national action plans for employment, in which the economic and social councils would have a role to play.

Publié le 19 octobre 2011