RCE Minna and RCE Grand Rapids organize the first Youth Virtual Conference in Africa

RCE Minna and RCE Grand Rapids organize the first Youth Virtual Conference (YVC) in Africa on youth empowerment and vocational training.

African countries face large economic challenges, partly due to the long dependence on mono-economies and the fall in commodity values. Youth are often the most affected, with high unemployment rates and little economic perspective. Incoherent youth programmes and little funding have added to the urgency for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes in this region.

To address this, RCE Minna and RCE Grand Rapids brought together young people to discuss ways of addressing youth unemployment and climate change through TVET, entrepreneurship, and lifelong learning in the various regions of Africa. The 1st YVC in Africa was centered around the theme “Sustainable Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Entrepreneurship and Lifelong Learning on Sustainability”. The concept of TVET was presented by Jos Hermans, European RCE Adviser . Apollonia Okhimamhe, Director of the West African Science Service Center on Climate change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) introduced the concept of climate change. Abel Atiti Barasa, researcher at United Nations University – Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), explained about the importance of lifelong learning. The different opportunities for youth entrepreneurship were described by Casmair Obialon, Coordinator of the Central Bank of Nigeria Entrepreneurship Development Center (CBN-EDC). The Permanent Secretary, Niger State, Ministry of Youth and Sport Development, Ramatu Suleiman, appreciated the large participation of African youth and thanked the speakers for sharing their experiences.

Youths from Japan, the Netherlands, India, Kenya, Zambia, USA and Nigeria joined the event. During the discussions four key points were identified:

1. Youth unemployment and climate change are global challenges which can be addressed through lifelong learning to transform society.

2. Entrepreneurship training and mentoring is not given enough attention as tools to tackle unemployment in Africa and elsewhere.

3. Networking and education (formal, non-formal and informal) are paramount to share knowledge and learn vital ideas.

4. Political will plays a major role in combating climate change.

Moving forward, the organizers were hopeful that the conference would become an annual event. Outcomes of the conference could then be scaled up and discussed in the upcoming regional and global RCE conferences in order to prepare a roadmap for youth involvement in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and as a major push for the Global Action Plan (GAP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Photos of this conference have now been uploaded on our facebook page.


Presentations and other related files:

Keynote Address - click here

TVET presentation by Jos Hermans - click here

RCE Minna presentation - click here

Campus Ambassadors Programme (MGIEP) presentation - click here

Campus Ambassadors Programme (MGIEP) concept note - click here


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