International conference on Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa (YESSA)

Dakar, Senegal - January 28-30, 2014


Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa - YESSA

The PEP Africa team and the International Development Research Center (IDRC), together with other partners, hosted the international conference on Youth and Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa (YESSA). The event is took place at the Pullman Hotel in Dakar, Senegal, on January 28-30, 2014.

For more information on the event, you may refer to the agenda or contact IDRC's Supporting Inclusive Growth (SIG) program at: You may also review the conversation on Twitter, at (#YESSA2014)


Putting youths to work through research and practice

With close to 70 percent of its population aged below 25, Africa is the youngest continent in the world. The youth population constitutes about 37 percent of the total labour force in Africa and is projected to expand more rapidly than anywhere else in the world (OECD, 2011).

Meanwhile, with youth representing 3 in 5 of the total unemployed and with an average of 72% of the youth population living with less than $2 a day, there is now ample evidence to suggest that positive growth rates in most African countries have failed to translate into more and better employment opportunities for the majority and especially for youth.

Youth employment is thus now, more than ever, a pressing issue and major challenge faced by most policy and development actors on the continent.

The objective of the the YESSA conference was to provide a platform for reflection, exchange and experience sharing, in order to assess knowledge gaps, and revisit current practices and strategies for youth employment. The conference brought together national, regional and multilateral policy actors, African researchers and think tanks, as well as key relevant stakeholders.
Through a combination of parallel sessions with research papers and program initiative presentations, panel discussions and keynote speakers from Sub Saharan African and North Africa shared perspectives, reflected on current opportunities and challenges to youth employment, explored potential policy options and informed the development of a policy-oriented research agenda grounded into local realities.
Find out more about the event's objectives and very impressive program - which comprised a number of high-level panels, speakers and presentations, including from PEP research projects - here: YESSA international conference - Agenda
The conference was also meant to serve as a prelude to the special session of the African Union’s Conference of Labour ministers - to be held in Windhoek in April 2014, and which will adopt a new declaration and a new plan of action for job promotion in Africa. The latter will in turn feed into the extraordinary summit of AU’s Heads of States, to be held in September 2014, to mark the 10th Anniversaty of the Ouagadougou Declaration on Employment and Poverty Alleviation in Africa.
Also organized in collaboration with:


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