African youth leaders told a United Nations expert group meeting on urban youth employment in Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, that young people ought to have a stronger say in decisions affecting their employment prospects. The meeting agreed on a series of recommendations with Mr. Magatte Wade, a member of the YEN's High-Level Panel of 12 eminent personalities appointed by UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan.
These include the creation of entry-level positions and other opportunities so that young people can gain the experience necessary for work in the formal economy, skills training, access to financing for youth-led employment initiatives, institutional commitment and support, the right to participate in policy decision making on youth issues, recognition of youth as a resource, and special attention to youth employment problems in urban Africa. They also recommended attention to the special needs of youth at risk, and ways of ensuring that discrimination against young women is tackled in every sector.
The five-day meeting 21-25 June gathered key partners from the UN system working on youth employment issues. They included the Youth Employment Network (YEN), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), UN-HABITAT, representatives of the Kenyan Government, civil society, the private sector, and young people from ten African countries.