African leaders have been called upon to develop the potential of youths to accelerate development of the continent.
Statistics by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) indicated that in spite of African youths being the most educated generation to emerge from schools and universities, a youth is twice as likely to be unemployed when he/she becomes an adult.
The World Bank has also described Africa as having the largest “youth bulge” in the world, as the number of youth is expected to grow by 42.5 million between 2010 and 2020.
Experts have also argued that youth unemployment and underemployment are among the main barriers to development in Africa.
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the outgoing African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, said on Monday in Addis Ababa that the future of Africa largely depended on the development and investment in the youth.
Dlamini-Zuma spoke at the on-going 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments of AU.
According to her, the focus on the youth justifies the theme; “Harnessing the Demographic Dividends through Investment in African Youth’’.
“This is the comparative advantage we have, which must be translated into demographic dividends. To harness these resources, we must firstly provide all Africa’s boys, girls and young people with opportunities to be in school.
“To unlock their full potential, we should do more to involve young people. This is economically prudent, and a democratic imperative, since they constitute the majority of our population.
“By involving young people, they have a sense of ownership and stake in the future. By facilitating the full participation of girls and young women, we are securing the future,” she said.
According to her, the future of Africa belongs to the youth, both the quality of that future will be determined by what they make of it today.
She said that the youth also had the responsibility to learn, read, serve, participate, innovate, build, and to create.
“They have a responsibility to be organised at local, national and continental levels, so they can help drive Agenda 2063,” she said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years.
Its builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
Zuma noted that there was also the need to tackle youth unemployment, adding that 60 per cent of the unemployed were young people, noting that their unemployment rate doubled that of adults.
According to her, the continent’s programmes of of agricultural modernisation and development of agro-processing must target creation of job opportunities for young entrepreneurs.
``In this regard, we welcome the African development Bank’s strategy for jobs for the youth in Africa 2016-2025, which aims to create 25 million jobs and impart 50 million youths.
“The bank estimates that reducing African youth unemployment rate to that of adults, would translate to a 10 to 20 per cent increase in the continent’s Gross Domestic roduct (GDP).
“We must ensure that African children, young men and women see the blue oceans economy as part of their natural heritage and for possible career paths.’’
According to her this same goes for our celestial space and careers in the space science.
The 28th Ordinary Session, which began on Jan. 24, would close on Jan. 31.
Edited by: Ese E. Ekama
Mr Lanre Ajayi, the Chief Executive Officer of Pinet Informatics Nigeria, on Monday tasked the Federal Government on the setting up of a new broadband plan.
inaugurated by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The committee was chaired Dr Ernest Ndukwe and Mr Jim Ovia, supported by a cast of 15 core members representing various stakeholder groups in the sector, and an additional set of co-opted members.
It has been empirically proven that every 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration in developing countries resulted in a commensurate increase of 1.3 per cent in GDP.
The most credible statistics on broadband penetration estimated that Nigeria’s broadband penetration was between four per cent and six per cent, as at 2012, further underscoring the need for Nigeria to give strategic importance to the development of broadband infrastructure.
With the Broadband Plan, Government expected that by the end of 2017, there should be a five-fold increase in broadband penetration over the 2012 penetration rate.
(Edited by: Idonije Obakhedo)
Mr Adede Williams, the National President, Association of Telecommunications Professionals of Nigeria (ATPN) has called on the Federal Government to formulate appropriate policies that will drive the telecom sector.
Williams made this call on Wednesday in Abuja in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency .
He said that government should put in place good policies that would drive the industry as this would give a lot of leverages to the sector.
According to him, some of the policies already in place will not allow the indigenous telecom companies to thrive.
“In 2016, even with the recession alarm, the telecom sector still contributed 9.8 per cent to the country’s GDP and a lot still needs to be done in 2017.
“The current government does lack policies as it has been formulating a lot of policies; and whether you like it or not, only the right policies will drive the economy.
“What we want in 2017 to make the telecom industry take its normal shape is to put policies put in place that will revive infrastructure for the industry to thrive.
“We are soliciting this time around that as they are formulating policies, they should formulate good ones that will drive the telecom industry to make sure Nigerians benefit in terms of call ratings,’’ he said.
Williams said that epileptic power supply had been the biggest challenge the sector had been facing.
“If government can provide stable power for the industry, it will enable the sector to grow faster.
“Frankly speaking in telecom industry, epileptic power is one of the things that the telecom industry is passing through.
“If government can provide stable power for the telecom industry, you will see that the industry will grow as fast as it can.
“The money invested in power by telecom operators can actually transmit into building other base stations, the more base stations are being built, the more the network is being expanded and more people will enjoy network availability,’’ he said.
Williams said that the association was aware that government was doing something to boost the industry by setting up the Ministry of Communications and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
He said that the ministry and NCC were doing well by bringing stakeholders together to find out exactly “what is happening in the industry and how to move it forward.’’
“They have organised a lot of stakeholders forum and other forums that brought in players in the ICT and telecom industry to look at how adequate infrastructure can be added to the sector.
The minister of communication, Mr Adebayo Shittu, had in 2016 said that local content would be major focus for his leadership to enable indigenous players participate in the sector.
He said that this would be done by galvanising appropriate policies tailored toward meeting the needs of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises by providing the enabling environment.
Edited by: Grace Yussuf
Australia and New Zealand said on Tuesday they hope to salvage the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by encouraging China and other Asian nations to join the trade pact.
President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order in the Oval Office on Monday pulling the U.S.
out of the 2015 TPP agreement and distancing the country from its Asian allies.
The TPP, which the U.S. had signed but not ratified, was a pillar of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s policy to pivot to Asia.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he had held discussions with Abe, New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Loong overnight about the possibility of proceeding with the TPP without the U.S.
“Losing the United States from the TPP is a big loss, there is no question about that.
“But we are not about to walk away … certainly there is potential for China to join the TPP,” Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
New Zealand’s English said the United States was ceding influence to China and the region’s focus could switch to alternative trade deals.
“We’ve got this RCEP agreement with Southeast Asia, which up until now has been on a bit of a slow burn, but we might find the political will for that to pick up if TPP isn’t going to proceed,” English said.
Malaysia’s trade minister said negotiators from the remaining TPP countries would be in “constant communication” to decide the best way forward.
“Notwithstanding the current position of the new U.S. Administration on TPP, we will continue to engage with our American colleagues to strengthen our bilateral trade and economic relations,” Mustapa Mohamed said in a statement.
The TTP, which has been five years in the making, requires ratification by at least six countries accounting for 85 per cent of the combined GDP of the member nations.
Australia held open the possibility of China, the world’s top exporter, joining a revised deal.
“The original architecture was to enable other countries to join,” Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday.
“Certainly I know that Indonesia has expressed interest and there would be scope for China if we are able to reformulate it.”
Japan has led the push for the partnership, which also includes Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam.
“There is no change to our view that free trade is the source of economic growth,” Japanese Economy Minister Nobuteru Ishihara told reporters.
When asked whether Japan would be open to negotiating a bilateral trade pact with the U. S., Ishihara said it was still uncertain whether U.S. trade officials would start such negotiations.
Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda said separately that Japan was not considering moves with other TPP members based on a lack of U.S. involvement.
“As Prime Minister Abe has made clear, TPP without the United States is meaningless and the balance of interests would crumble,” he told a news conference, adding Tokyo would keep explaining the benefits of the pact for America.
Abe had made TPP a core of his economic growth policies and along with the Obama administration, viewed TPP as strategically vital in the face of a rising China
New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay said he had talked with a number of TPP-member ministers at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week and he expected they would meet over the coming months.
“The agreement still has value as a Free Trade Agreement with the other countries involved,” McClay said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Desmond Elliot, has urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to develop the entertainment sector to grow the country`s economy.
The lawmaker, also a Nollywood actor, told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Monday that the sector had the potential to move the country out of recession, if properly harnessed.
Elliot said entertainment contributed a substantial percentage to the country`s GDP and could achieve more for the economy if there were deliberate policies to develop it.
“ We all know that the fall in the international price of crude oil is taking its toll of the country`s economy and that is why we are having recession.
“The current situation would, however, have been avoided if we were running a diversified economy rather than the oil-dependent economy that we are having.
“That is why we need to turn to a sector like entertainment with enormous economic potential to grow the economy and move it out of recession.
“We need to take entertainment like big business like it is done in America, China, India and the United Kingdom.
“We need to support entertainment productions with funds. We need to support capacity building of practitioners; we need to create the right environment and build the infrastructure.
“A viable entertainment sector would not only boost forex inflow and grow the economy, it will also help to create jobs,’’ he said.
The lawmaker said the state government was taking a number of steps to develop the entertainment sector to boost the state`s earnings.
According to him, one of the steps is the plan by government to build mega cinemas across the three senatorial zones to revive the cinema culture and open additional window of income for entertainers.
He said the recent hosting of continental music awards like AFRIMA in the state was another way the government was supporting the growth of the sector.
Elliot said that the government had sponsored a number of film projects and was developing entertainment infrastructure across the different councils for the growth of the sector.
(Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Oluwole Sogunle)
Some Information Communication Technology (ICT) entrepreneurs urged the Federal Government to boost the sector by providing grants to encourage start-ups and more investors instead of loans.
The entrepreneurs made the call interview separate interviews with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Monday.
They said that the grants would enable them to bring out innovation that could generate more employment and increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr Charles Idonije, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cobai Global Resources said that government should also encourage youths through integration programmes to inculcate others who initially were not interested in building career in ICT.
“I believe the only way to increase our GDP is for government to provide grants instead of loans to start-ups.
“Integration programmes should also be organised to encourage some other people who are not ICT literate.
“They should also consider for dropouts and illiterates with talents in the programme.
“Government should setup agencies for bringing out the core competence in our youths and teenagers,” Idonije said.
Mr Abiodun Animashaun, the Country Manager, GoodsExpress.com said that government needed to provide grants to the sector to boost and create an enabling environment for ICT sector.
Animashaun appealed to government to set up proper infrastructure that would empower millions of people as the country was currently going through diversification.
He said that the contribution of the technology industry to Nigeria’s progress was significant because the backbone of leading economies in the world was hinged on technology and entrepreneurship.
“My assessment so far is that government needs to wake up.
“Government should provide enabling environment to the sector so that unemployment rate will be reduced to the bearest minimal,” Animashaun said.
Edited by: Grace Yussuf
Turkey’s unemployment rate hit 11.8 per cent in October, according to data from the state-run Turkstat agency released on Monday, while youth unemployment was even higher, at 21.2 per cent.
The previous month’s unemployment rate was 11.3 per cent and also marked a rise.
Non-farm unemployment was recorded at 14.1 per cent, levels not seen since 2010.
Turkey’s currency lira has been rapidly losing value compared to the dollar and euro.
Among other woes, the country has been struggling with a collapsing tourism sector amid political unrest within the country and conflict on its borders.
The gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 1.8 per cent in the third quarter, amid lower household consumption.
Stability has also been shaken, in part by an increase in terrorism attacks.
A conflict with Kurdish militants and a coup attempt by a faction in the military in July has resulted in a wide-scale crackdown on the alleged plotters and the wider opposition.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also in the process of orchestrating a constitutional change, which, if passed by referendum this year, would empower his office at the expense of parliament.
(Edited by: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Julius Enehikhuere)
The UN International Labour Organisation (ILO), said economic growth trends was lagging behind employment needs and predicts both rising unemployment and worsening social inequality throughout 2017.
ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, stated this on Thursday while releasing the 2017 World Employment and Social Outlook report.
“We are facing the twin challenge of repairing the damage caused by the global economic and social crisis and creating quality jobs for the tens of millions of new labour market entrants every year.”
According to the report, global growth domestic product (GDP) reached a six-year low in 2016, well below the rate that was projected in 2015.
Forecasters continue to revise their 2017 predictions downwards amid the uncertainty about the global economy.
The situation is generating worry among experts that the economy would be unable to employ a sufficient number of people and that growth would not lead to inclusive and shared benefits, it said.
Throughout 2017, global unemployment is expected to rise by 3.4 million.
The marginal increase, of a modest 5.7 to 5.8 per cent, is due to deteriorating labour market conditions in emerging countries, particularly those in Latin America and the Caribbean.
However, unemployment is expected to fall in developed countries, especially in Northern, Southern, and Western Europe, the U.S., and Canada.
In addition, the figure of 1.4 billion people who are employed in vulnerable working conditions is not expected to decrease.
That number represents 42 per cent of all employment for 2017.
“Economic growth continues to disappoint and underperform, both in terms of levels and the degree of inclusion.
“This paints a worrisome picture for the global economy and its ability to generate enough jobs.
“Persistent high levels of vulnerable forms of employment combined with clear lack of progress in job quality, even in countries where aggregate figures are improving, are alarming.
“We need to ensure that the gains of growth are shared in an inclusive manner,” Ryder said.
“Almost one in two workers in emerging countries is in vulnerable forms of employment, rising to more than four in five workers in developing countries,” Steven Tobin, ILO Senior Economist and lead author of the report, said.
The statistic is even worse for emerging countries as those living in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are facing the greatest risk.
While the number of people living in poverty has been declining in recent years, rates of progress have begun to slow and are expected to continue to diminish in 2017.
In developing countries, the rate of poverty is actually increasing.
Since 2009, the percentage of the working-age population willing to migrate abroad for work has risen in almost every region in the world.
That trend was most prominent in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Arab States.
The report also points out a number of social inequalities that are creating barriers to growth and prosperity.
Gender gaps in particular are affecting the labour market.
In Northern Africa, women in the labour force are twice as likely as men to be unemployed; that gap is wider still for women in Arab States.
As a result of these and other social inequalities across a wide range of demographics, the ILO estimates that the risk of social unrest or discontent is growing in almost all regions.
The ILO advocated policy approaches that address root causes of stagnation as well as structural impediments to growth.
“Boosting economic growth in an equitable and inclusive manner requires a multi-faceted policy approach that addresses the underlying causes of secular stagnation, such as income inequality, while taking into account country specificities,” Tobin said.
Such progress, the UN labour agency emphasised, is only possible through international cooperation.
ILO said a coordinated effort to provide fiscal stimuli and public investments would go a long way to jump start the global economy and eliminate an anticipated rise in unemployment for two million people.
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Edited by: Yusuf Zango
Mr Pretty Okafor, President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) has said that the economic recession facing the nation since 2016 did not stop its entertainment industry from thriving.
He stated this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja.
Okafor, in a retrospective look into 2016, noted that while other sectors of the nation’s economy were grappling with the realities of the recession, the music and motion pictures industry was ‘doing well’.
“The entertainment industry is the only sector that recession did not affect, and will never affect.
“While other sectors were retrenching workers in the past year and finding it difficult to pay workers salaries, the entertainment industry was employing people.
“Artistes and everyone in the industry were busy working, going for concerts, producing movies and music all over the place.
“We were shooting movies and distributing our albums all over Africa and beyond,” he asserted.
The PMAN boss explained that the Nigerian brand and artistes, in the last year, gained both local and global acceptance and relevance than ever before.
He added that besides the artistes, producers, promoters and others involved in other ancillary services within the industry reaped increased income during the year.
“Everybody who is creative and hard-working chunked out albums, and within the year, thousands of music and movie albums were produced.
“Presently, there is no other African Artistes that collects the fee Nigerian artistes collect per show.
“They collect from 100,000 to 150, 000 dollars for a single performance wherever they go all over the world.
“In the whole of Africa, it is only Nigerian Artistes that fly Private Jet around, it has never happened in Africa,” he noted.
According to Okafor, the Nigerian brand of entertainment is now competing effectively on the global stage.
This he said has attracted a lot of foreign investors and promoters, and thereby added to the nation’s foreign exchange.
He noted that many dance steps that were originated by Nigerian artistes have gained popularity around the world.
“In many media stations abroad, Nigerian music earned not less than 75 per cent air- time, that tells you that our brand has global market.
“If you visit many night clubs in the U.S, Jamaica and other countries, Nigerian music is played.
“In Aruba Island and the Trinidad and Tobago, they collect tax from their citizens for buying Nigerian movies and music albums.
“So other countries are making money from what we produce, and we can’t even appreciate what is it has to offer back at home.”
Okafor, therefore, called on relevant stakeholders and governments at all levels to focus on exploring the potentials the industry has to offer, especially as the nation advocates economic diversification.
According to him, if given adequate attention, the entertainment industry is the only viable sector that can bail the country out of its recession in no distant time.
“The era of sole reliance on oil is gone, and the earlier Nigeria realises this, the better it will be for its citizens.
“The entertainment industry does not need intensive capital and long period to yield return on investment.
“Government just needs to demonstrate a strong political will in providing the necessary regulations and enabling environment.
“We are not telling them to give us loan, but they should provide a strong system that provides adequate management and protection for the creative rights of Nigerians, “he urged.
He said since the Nigerian entertainment industry is globally acclaimed as the third largest in the world and the best in Africa, there was need to harness its potentials.
He noted that the U.S and other developed economies in the world were maximising the opportunities their creative industries had to offer.
“The entertainment industry is a major contributor to American GDP and that of other countries that have no oil.
“The income California generates, as the entertainment hub in the U.S, can run America.
“There is money in production, branding, promotion and marketing, and an investor can venture into any of these areas, “he urged.
The PMAN President extolled Nigerian music artistes who won major awards in Africa and those who got signed into international labels in the last year.
He expressed optimism that Nigerian artistes would receive nominations and pick a trophy at the prestigious Grammy Awards in 2017.
NAN recalls that in 2016, many Nigerian artistes made major breakthroughs within and beyond the African continent.
In Oct, Nigerian singers Wizkid and Yemi Alade,won the ‘African Artiste of the Year’ and the ‘Best Female Artiste’ respectively at the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) in South Africa.
Also at the maiden edition of the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival held in Lagos,the duo were also named ‘African Artiste of the Year’ and the ‘Best Female Artiste’ respectively.
Nigeria’s young ace ‘Mr Falz’ was named ‘Best New Artiste’, while Tekno’s Video ‘PANA’, directed by Clarence Peters won the ‘Video of the Year’ award.
Nigeria topped the award list, with 11 awards won by different artistes.
In the past year also, Nigeria’s female singer Tiwa Savage signed a management deal with American entertainment company, Roc Nation, while the ace singer Davido signed a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment.
Many Nigerian singers also embarked on music tours to Europe, America, Australia and the Caribbean
Mr Dimeji Ogunware, an entertainment entrepreneur says the nation’s entertainment industry is the focal point for the growth of tourism sector.
Ogunware told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that the entertainment has the capacity to grow the nation’s GDP beyond its current level.
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“If you are looking for an industry that has taken over or that is springing up right now is the entertainment industry; the mother of show organisation, cinemas and all that.
“As it is now organising shows bring in people from all works of life for them to ease off their stress and also the marketing aspect and economic aspect of it.
“Having organised shows like that employs so many people, so, in a nut shell, organising shows helps to develop the tourism sector so much.
“People from outer state come to enjoy what you what have to offer, for example people travel all over the world to see shows.
“Nigerians in the Diaspora come home to see the annual AY Live, the Abuja Carnival and the so called Osun/Oshogbo Festival so, shows brings about increase in the GDP.
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Edited by: Lydia Beshel/Ismail Abdulaziz