Unemployment Tops Yaoundé’s Confab

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 African ministers of Public Works and Labor recently met in the Cameroonian Capital of Yaoundé and deliberated on the issue of unemployment and other labor-based matters. The ministers of nine countries have vowed to tackle the issue of unemployment in Africa.

 They discussed, among other things, matters that affect unemployment and under-employment among the continent’s youths and the disadvantaged.

The nine ministerial delegates, met at the just ended 15th Regional Seminar on “Labor-Based Approaches in Infrastructure; From Policy to Action for job creation.”

 The regional seminar was organized by the Ministry of Public Works of Cameroon under the patronage of their President, Paul Biya.

 According to a statement, the seminar was held at the Yaoundé Conference Centre, and brought together over 400 participants from 28 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, including nine senior ministries, chaired by Mr. Patrice Amba Salla of Cameroon.

The Liberian 15-member delegation was drawn from Liberia Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Public Works, and Community-based organization groupings from Southeastern Liberia.

In an interview upon their arrival from Cameroon, Officer-In-Charge of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Liberia office, Charles Kwarteng Asafo-Adjei, said the seminar helped ensure that multi-sectorial characters and good governance of labor-intensive programs and financial mechanisms are specific to national funding to tackle unemployment.

Mr. Asafo-Adjei disclosed that the delegates committed themselves to putting together adequate institutions with coordinating functions and political support at the highest level.

According to him, the main guiding principles and goals of the ILO is to mainstream social protection for all. As such, it is time to move from mere labor-based approaches in infrastructures to job creation for the unemployed youths, women and the disadvantaged in society.

He maintained that every government needs to be innovative in their thinking about development and creating more jobs and a better infrastructure.

 For his part, the National Coordinator of ILO Projects, Jemel A. Kiazolu, said that the seminar was ‘wonderful and exciting’ because many new applications in labor-based approaches and knowledge sharing activities were learned.

 At the conference, Mr. Kiazolu used the occasion to appeal to central government to give credence to these kinds of job creation opportunities in Africa.

Madam Felicia Muna Kun, from a community-based organization in Maryland County, said that the seminar exposed her to new methods of training, which she promised to use to sensitize and educate other residents of her county.

Madam Kun expressed the hope the ILO would learn from the conduct of the seminar and launch new sensitization campaigns in Maryland for the implementation of Labor-based programs.

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