Strong advocacy, during the in-person Council, by the National Youth Council for better management of the needs of young people in terms of youth employment. This has enabled improved involvement of young people in the implementation strategy and ownership of the programme at the local level.
The establishment of a one-stop-shop that deals with training and funding orientation as well as the monitoring and evaluation of youth projects.
The importance of a partnership between the State, development partners and young civil society. This makes a favourable response possible for issues around the employment and integration of young people.
Currently, as a result of the support of partners such as the European Union (for example, via the support programme for civil society for better governance/PASC), the National Youth Council is in the process of strengthening its institutional and organisational capacities. This will ensure it not only becomes more resilient in the future but has the possibility of monitoring this Xëyu ndaw ñi’programme.
The CNJS (National Youth Council of Senegal) is a platform that brings together youth organisations (17,000 youth organisations and associations along with 26 national youth movements) present throughout the national territory. It has a role as a privileged interlocutor with the State, local authorities, development partners and institutions of the Republic on issues related to youth policy. Its mission is to:
- coordinate all youth programmes and activities
- participate in the civic, technical and professional training of young people
- participate in the development of national policies and programmes
- involve young people in the decision-making process that affects them
- promote and defend respect for human rights
- ensure young people participate in the various national and international meetings.
Senegal, much like most countries in the world, has suffered heavily from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures to manage the health crisis, amplified by a ‘political crisis’, have encouraged young people thanks to their ‘revolt’, which saw violent demonstrations across the national territory in March 2021. To help to try to find ways out of the crisis for young people, the President of the Republic invited them to take part in broad consultations. As a result, the National Youth Council was responsible for coordinating and leading a series of forums entitled ‘Grand Youth Forum on the economic opportunities of local authorities, youth employment and irregular migration’. Following the forums, Decentralised Popular Consultations on current emergencies (CPD) were held with young people and elected officials in all regions with local and decentralised authorities. The aim was to take stock of young people’s situation and existing local opportunities and to make recommendations for possible solutions. The consultations concluded in the in-person Institution on the socioeconomic integration of young people and employment, with the participation of the government and its technical and financial partners.
In the analysis of these consultations, the CNJS and the subsequent dissection, it emerged that there is:
- youth unemployment hovering at around 14%
- a gap between training and job offers (each year, more than 200,000 young people leave universities and training schools to seek employment)
- a lack of infrastructure to meet the vocational training needs of young people
- a scarcity of decent work for young people
- administrative red tape to starting a business
- a lack of funds allocated to financing youth projects and programmes
- a lack of involvement of young people in decision-making bodies (young people make up more than 65% of the population compared to 2% in decision-making bodies)
- an abdication of responsibilities from local authorities from dealing with the concerns of young people at the level of act 3 of decentralisation
- a lack of synergy of action between the structures or agencies dealing with the youth sector, employment, migration policy.
In order to face these challenges, the CNJS and its branches have made the following proposals:
- Develop a new youth employment policy, taking into account the economic opportunities in the different regions of Senegal.
- Increase the budget allocated to vocational training in order to build centres of excellence for vocational training in the 45 departments of Senegal.
- Merge the Ministry of Youth with the Ministry of Employment to create a large Ministry dealing with youth, employment and vocational training.
- Merge the agencies responsible for financing youth projects (ANPEJ, DER, FONGIP, PROMISE).
- Increase the financial envelope dedicated to funding youth projects.
- Set up a digital database of young applicants for project funding.
- Facilitate young people in business creation.
- Facilitate young people’s access to land.
- Set up a one-stop shop that deals with training, funding orientation and monitoring and evaluation of youth projects
- Strengthen the material and financial resources of the CNJS
Under the leadership and advocacy of the CNJS, ‘Xëyu ndaw ñi’ was born; this is an emergency programme for employment and socioeconomic integration among young people. It was validated on 22 April 2021 at CICAD by Mr. Macky Salll, the President of the SE Republic, in presence of members of the National Youth Council, Government and partners for a new youth policy management strategy.
This programme is a question of creating a new generation of qualified, productive and enterprising youth with decent jobs by 2023.
As a result, Job Centres have been established in the 46 departments of Senegal, in the interests of territorial equity and of offering young people more opportunities and equal opportunity.
The recruitment of young people is supervised by the Regional Youth Councils and Departmental Youth Councils to ensure their participation and inclusion in the process.
Participation of the branches of the CNJS in the recruitment process and in the implementation of the programme.
Democratisation and decentralisation of employment in all local communities.
An increasing number of young people in the one-stop-shops for employment.
The large numbers of young people who have found work through this programme.
An greater communication mechanism on social networks to encourage young people to seize opportunities.