AFRICA needs to ensure that skills development and mainstreaming of job creation for youths are embedded in the continental development agenda, President Edgar Lungu has said.

He also called for transformational approaches to spur technical and vocational training for youth development in the continent.

President Lungu said this yesterday after attending two meetings of Heads of State and Governments on NEPAD and UN Security Council reforms ahead of the AU Summit that opens today.

“My delegation recognises NEPAD’S support of continental programmes either directly or indirectly which are able to contribute significantly to job creation especially for our youth,” President Lungu said.

He observed that it had been established that, while there were a number of youth employment initiatives, with many focused on technical and vocational training and education specific employment, there were no comprehensive solutions designed for the transformational sectors of the continent.

“In this regard, my delegation appreciates NEPAD’S adoption of a clustering approach of skills development and mainstreaming job creation for the African youth into development of continental programmes,” he said.

President Lungu said he was confident that the clustering approach would increase impact and sustainability of continental programmes while promoting skills development for the youth.

“In the same vein, my delegation commends the NEPAD agency for coming up with a concept note on the African continental framework on youth employment. We are in no doubt that its implementation can greatly contribute to the full utilisation of the capacities of our youth for Africa’s desired transformation,” he said.

President Lungu said now that the member states had embarked on implementation of the first ten-year implementation plan of agenda 2063, which was transformative in nature, the need for comprehensive solutions that were innovative and designed for the transformational sectors of the continent could not be over emphasized.

“It is from this backdrop that my delegation would like to urge the NEPAD coordination agency to scale up putting in place comprehensive solutions that are designed and made operational in order to contribute to the transformation of our continent,” he said.

President Lungu said his delegation was cognisant of the fact that coordination during the implementation of agenda 2063 would be key in realising the dream for the desired Africa.

President Lungu said, going forward, the coordination role of NEPAD was very cardinal in achieving the objectives of agenda 2063 and its first ten- year implementation plan.

“….This places a mammoth task for NEPAD than never before to coordinate a cluster of solutions around Africa’s transformational sectors that will result in spurring job creation for our citizens and in particular for the youth,” he said.

In achieving this mammoth task, the Head of State said it would require that in implementing agenda 2063, NEPAD’S coordination role be clearly defined so that all stakeholders knew exactly what was expected of the organisation.

On the UN Security Council reforms meeting the President seconded the adoption of the report on the position of Africa on the matter.

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