Ms Ngone Diop, Director, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, has urged African media to put pressure on governments concerning policies on education, health, job creation, and women and youth empowerment.
Diop said this at a virtual news briefing on youth and women empowerment on Thursday.
The director noted that policy commitments at national and regional levels were not always matched by actions with many youths and women still jobless or in informal employment, with few prospects and no representation.
She said youths and women struggle to access public resources and quality social services.
She stressed that concrete actions were required to create decent jobs for the 16 million unemployed young Africans facing unemployment.
She, however, said the commission would keep on working with the media to put “pressure on your governments”.
“Education, health, job creation, not only in the informal sector, those pillars have to be taken into account in those policies. You have your economic policy, and others as well.
“Planners are sitting around the table to figure out where they want to go, where their objectives are. We have to be always aware of the demographic dividend when all these policies are being designed. But at the end of the day, the responsibility rests with the state.
“And this is why we need to do advocacy.”
Diop noted that governments in Africa had inadequate funds to put right policies in place and pledged the support of the ECA.
“We have to have this policy uptake by governments to say well, we want to have the right policies but our budget does not show our priorities (to) take into account the structure of our population and does not answer to short term needs, middle or long term needs of our youth because we need youth and women in empowerment with the right policies at hand.
“So this is the kind of support we’re trying to give to governments. So we are trying to do a lot but this is not enough yet.
“And we need to have also together with what we are trying to do, the right policies and other interventions as well, which should be undertaken by our countries, by our governments.”
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