The Declaration of Praia: Promoting youth employment in the creative economy in Africa
The Ministerial Meeting to promote African youth employment organized by UNESCO and the Cabo Verde government was held from 28-30 November 2013 in the capital Praia. It brought together about ten ministers, high-level government officials of different departments, delegates from UN agencies as well as experts and young cultural entrepreneurs from the following eight countries: Angola, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal and Sao-Tomé.
The objective of the meeting was to explore ways to tap into the vast potential of engaging young Africans in the creative economy, in order to reduce the high unemployment rate in the continent: Some 200 million African youth are unemployed, representing 60% of the total number of unemployed in Africa.
African authorities who took part in the meeting underlined the need to strengthen their cultural policies. Several countries have already taken different initiatives: The Cabo Verde government has created an innovative Cultural Bank, which takes into consideration the local needs and realities of the cultural sector through, inter alia, the establishment of a creative industries cluster, the launch three national networks of diffusion (crafts, art and museum).
Nigeria has set up a fund to facilitate Nollywood productions. In Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire, cinematographic supporting funds have also been launched although not yet sufficient to boost the creative economy and to create jobs sustainably.
The adoption of a new institutional framework
At the closing ceremony on 30 November 2013, ministers and policy-makers attending the meeting, adopted the Declaration of Praia. The representatives of the eight countries made the commitment to implement the Declaration, which has to give place to pilot projects in the creative economy, according to the Cabo Verde Prime Minister, José Maria Neves.
As to the question of how to improve the employability of the youth in the creative economy, one of the most important suggestions was to support inclusive business and ensure that the young entrepreneurs master the Internet which is an essential tool in the 21th century. Many other suggestions were tabled and were included as recommendations in the Declaration of Praia.
Finally, the United Nations is expected to support the different countries in the implementation of their work plan and pilot projects
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