President Muhammadu Buhari has said that young people in Africa needs to be empowered so as to enable them lead decent lives and contribute their own quota to society.
Buhari while speaking at an event organised by the Ministry of Youth Development to mark 2015 World Youth Day with the theme “Civic Engagement.” He emphasised that the needs of young people need to be met because they dominate Africa’s population.
He said “Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, you may wish to note that Africa is the most ‘youthful’ continent in the world. According to the figures I have been presented with, at least 20 percent of the continent’s population of 1.2 billion is between the age bracket of 15 – 24 years, with about 42% below 15 years of age. As the rest of the world gets older, Africa is getting younger. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It all depends on what we make of it.
“Therefore, one of the greatest challenges facing governments and policy makers in Africa today is how to provide opportunities and meet the needs of young people, the vast majority of whom need to be empowered to enable them to lead decent lives and contribute their quota to the socio economic and political development of their countries.
“Correctly harnessed, this tremendous labour force could propel us to take a quantum leap in developing our infrastructure so that Nigeria can join the 21st Century.
“Some of you may recall that African leaders, at the Malabo 2011Summit, committed themselves to providing employment, whether directly or indirectly, for at least 3% of its unemployed young people every year. For us, the meeting in Malabo 2011, marked another turning point in the continent’s quest for development. The summit adopted that all member States should advance the youth agenda and adopt policies and mechanisms towards the creation of safe, decent and competitive employment opportunities.”