President Muhammadu Buhari has urged African countries to exploit and capitalize on the opportunities which demographic dividend offers to promote poverty eradication and global sustainability.
In a statement by Tope Elias-Fatile, the Foreign Affairs spokesperson, said the President made the call at the High-Level Event on “Investing in Youth Jobs in Africa,” which was hosted by Prime Ministers Theresa May of the United Kingdom and Justin Trudeau of Canada, in the margins of the ongoing 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
According to him, population dynamics has shown that more efforts are required to confront the challenges related to changing global demographic patterns.
He said while some countries experience the reality of ageing population, Africa’s challenge remains a youth bulge.
Therefore, he calls on Africa to continue to exploit and capitalize on the opportunities which demographic dividend offers to promote poverty eradication and global sustainability, as well as to create jobs that would be economically productive and absorptive of the skilled youth.
The President also called on African governments to foster peaceful democratic environments and institute conflict resolution mechanisms to deter and prevent violent conflicts and the adverse consequences they produce.
To stimulate inclusive economic transformation and effectively capitalize on the demographic dividend in the continent, he said national governments and the private sector should promote gender-neutral hiring practices to benefit the growing number of female applicants seeking participation in the work force.
The President announced that as part of Nigeria’s commitment to the domestication of the AU Roadmap on harnessing demographic dividend through investing in youth, he has directed that a Multi-stakeholders Committee be commissioned to develop a national roadmap for harnessing the potentials of Nigeria’s teeming youthful population.
According to him, the national roadmap is anchored on the following four key pillars: Employment and Entrepreneurship; Education and Skills Development; Health and Wellbeing; and Rights, Governance and Youth Empowerment.