Rwandan Iribagiza named among AfDB presidential youth advisory group

On 30 November 2017 at 03:19

The President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has launched the Presidential Youth Advisory Group (PYAG) to provide insights and innovative solutions for job creation for Africa’s youth, as outlined in the Bank’s Jobs for Youths Africa Strategy (JfYA).

Among the group members include Rwandan Clarisse Iribagiza, the Chief Executive Officer of Hehe Rwanda, a tech company that develops mobile and computer applications.

The Jobs for Youth in Africa initiative aims at creating 25 million jobs and impacting 50 million youth over the next ten years by equipping them with the right skills to get decent and meaningful jobs. It is currently the largest effort going on for youth employment in Africa.

According to National Daily newspaper, the advisory group, inaugurated on the sidelines of the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum in Abidjan on Monday, November 27, will work with AfDB to create jobs for Africa’s youth.

Adesina, who described Africa’s youth as its greatest asset, observed that out of the 13 million youths that enter the labour market each year, only three million (about 33%) are in wage employment while the rest are underemployed or in subsistent employment.

He said the annual gap of more than 8 million jobs is going to worsen with the number of youth expected to double to more than 800 million in the next decades.

“Africa has an unemployment crisis among its youth,” he stressed, noting that unless employment opportunities are created for them, Africa’s rapidly growing youth population can give rise to serious social, economic, political and security challenges.

On the rationale behind the setting up of the advisory group, President Adesina explained, “We recognize the enormous amount of energy, creative and innovative thinking, and entrepreneurial excellence that many of our youth bring to the table. For this reason, the bank must ensure that it is well advised by cutting-edge youth representatives on its policies, actions and programmes for the benefit of Africa’s youth.”

“Members of the Presidential Youth Advisory Group are expected to actively engage private sector partners, government leaders, civil society, donor partners, and other stakeholders; and support the significant amount of work that the bank is already doing and promoting across the continent through its Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy,” President Adesina added.

The Presidential Youth Advisory Group (PYAG) comprises nine members under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions to the creation of employment opportunities for African youth.

The PYAG members are; Ashish Thakkar, CEO, Mara Group, Tanzania (Chair);Uzodinma Iweala, award-winning author, Nigeria; Mamadou Toure, Founder / CEO, Africa 2.0 / Ubuntu Capital, Cameroon; Vanessa Moungar, Human and Social Development Director, AfDB and member of President Macron’s Presidential Council for Africa, Chad; Francine Muyumba, President, Panafrican Youth Union, Democratic Republic of Congo; Jeremy Johnson, Co-founder, Andela, USA; Clarisse Iribagiza, CEO, Hehe Rwanda; Ada Osakwe, CEO, Agrolay Ventures, Nigeria; and Monica Musonda, CEO of Java Foods, Zambia.