May 3, 2018
Name of Meeting: "Promotion of Youth Employment Opportunities for Sustainable Economic Development in Africa", Side Event, Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum
Date: Thursday, 3 May 2018 (13:00-15:00)
Location: Ballroom 2, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
・Dr. Thabo Mashongoane, NSA Acting Executive Officer, National Skills Authority (NSA) Secretariat Office, Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), South Africa
・Mr. Mamoru Iida, JICA Expert for Human Resource Development to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), South Africa
・Mr. Bonginkosi Mthombeni, Project Specialist, Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA) & Mr. Mlandeli Ernest Dlamini, EIT(Engineer in Training), Eskom, Alumni of the African Business Education Initiative for Youth (ABE Initiative)
・Mr. Tshepo Ntsimane, Head Metros, Intermediate Cities & Water Boards, Client Coverage Division, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)
・Mr. Hiroshi Kato, Senior Vice President, JICA
The population of Africa continues to increase and it is expected that the total population will be 2,500 million in 2050 in which 1,600 million will be working age population. This population increase is attractive in terms of consumption and labor supply. On the other hand, this will be a serious problem as there will be much unemployed population unless creating large quantity of job rapidly every year. In this event, JICA, public sector and financing institution presented thier initiatives which support employment creation as well as fostering industrial human resoureces, and challenges to tackle with the issue of youth employment from the perspectives of employer and employee.
Severe youth unemployment in South Africa is attributed to the factor that there is a gap between "market demands" and "educational institutions' supply of graduates". To address this, Dr. Thabo Mashongoane, NSA Acting Executive Officer, National Skills Authority (NSA) Secretariat Office, Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), South Africa presented the policies which minimizes the gap between market demand and labors as well as financing system to implement policies. On the other hand, Mr. Mamoru Iida, JICA Expert for Human Resource Development dispatched to the DHET introduced the Employability Improvement Project (EIP) for nurturing industrial human resoureces practiced in 7 universities in South Africa, and presented that soft skills such as logical thinking and problem solving technique are as important as deepening knowledge on subject matter in university education. "KAKEHASHI Africa" is a network established by the participants of ABE Initiative Program in Japan. It brings together alumni of ABE Initiative graduated from Japanese universities. Mr. Bonginkosi Mthombeni and Mr. Mlandeli Ernest Dlamini, both who are alumni of ABE Initiative presented job matching and consultation services that KAKEHASHI Africe offers in partnership with Japanese companies. Mr. Tshepo Ntsimane, Head Metros, Intermediate Cities & Water Boards, Client Coverage Division, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) presented the reald situation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in South Africa, which serve as major source of employment for youth and how the financial institutions should cope with those MSMEs. Audience of this event had many follow up questions not only for respective presentations but also to importance of "soft skills" that young employees should have. South Africa is said to have advantage on technological maturity compated with other African countries. Yet, it was discussed that improvement of skills such as management and communication, will lead to further improvement on productivity, and they also will be an important factor for economic development. In the closing remarks, the senior vice president of JICA, Mr. Hiroshi Kato told that it is important to share lessons learnt and experience between Japan, developed economy, and Africa, developing economy, and thus deepening thoughts and cooperation together.