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Press Release

November 15, 2012

JICA Organizes Workshop on Youth Unemployment Research

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The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with the University of Ghana organised a workshop on Youth Unemployment Research on 15th November 2012 at the ISSER New Conference Facility, Legon..

JICA has been conducting a research on youth unemployment in Africa which will be one of agenda in the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) to be held in June 2013 and will provide guidance to African governments and aid agencies on specific areas of policy interventions and investment.

The workshop was held for the initial scoping study in four countries selected in Sub-Saharan Africa region: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. With regard to Ghana, the scoping study has been carried out by a team by Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Vice Chancellor and Professor of Economics in University of Ghana. Team members are Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Team Leader, Dr. William Baah-Boateng, Dr. Charles Ackah, Dr. Kim Lehrer and Dr. Isaac Mbiti. The team has completed the 2nd Draft Report and will present the findings at this workshop solicit views and comments from relevant researchers and government authorities.

Delivering the opening remarks, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana said; "Today's workshop is part of wider study by JICA. Currently, almost every African country faces youth unemployment issue. The study team used statistics, market structure and other sources for the research."

Mr. Jiro Inamura, Chief Representative of JICA Ghana Office said; "This workshop is held to review and get feedback about the Draft Report about Youth Unemployment in Ghana. The research to prepare a paper consists of two phases. The first phase is scoping studies for four countries in Sub-Sahara Africa, namely, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa to analyze current situation and interventions for youth unemployment. With regard to Ghana, the study has been done by a team of reserchers led by Prof. Ernest Aryeetey. The comments and discussion in this workshop will be examined and reflected to complete the first phase. Subsequently, as the second phase, a policy recommendations for youth unemployment issue shall be prepared and submitted to TICAD V."

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At the workshop, Dr. Simon Heap, Senior Programme Officer of JICA UK Office had presentation about outline of youth unemployment study.

He explained in his presentation, "Youth unemployment is a global issue. Across developed and developing economies, youth unemployment is a negative consequence of the poor state of the global economy. Africa is the only continent with a significantly growing youth population. In less than three years, 41% of the world's youth will be African and yet almost half the world's out-of-school children live in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of the studies will be to gain an accurate understanding of the scale of youth who are not gainfully employed (that is, unemployed, under-employed, or working but not making a living wage – the so-called ‘working poor’); the main characteristics of those youth not gainfully employed; why youth are unemployed and how they can be gainfully employed. The projects are expected to run for approximately for 3 years, and cost $250,000 - $1,000,000 each. Once selected, the projects will be included in JICA bilateral aid program for each country. The projects will be implemented in the period April 2013 – March 2016, and their outcome will be reported at the end of this period."

Dr. William Baah-Boateng, Department of Economics in University of Ghana delievered a presentation about the second draft of scoping study in Ghana including current state of youth employment and unemployment in Ghana and empirical analysis of determinants of incidence and duration of youth unemployment, and policy Interventions for sustainable employment generations for the youth. Finally, discussion was held. Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana during the discussion, said; "There isthe need to ascertain what kind of economy we want and how the state can support job creation. We should think about the labor market not only in Ghana or only in industry, but also in local and international market of every sector of industry ."

As Mr. Jiro Inamura mentioned at the end of the discussion, the study will proceed to the next stage with effective collaboration.

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