Accra, 6 April, 2018 – African think tanks can be part of the solution to the continent’s unemployment problem through collaboration with various interest groups, founder of a leading platform on think tanks, Enrique Mendizabal, said.
Mendizabal, Director of onthinktanks.org, a website which focuses on think tanks worldwide, gave the advice at the 5th Africa think tank summit in Accra.
He counseled with the institutions to work with other organizations and not just only think tanks, in arriving at solutions to the employment issues.
Speaking on what think tanks on the continent need to do to help alleviate youth unemployment, he advised them to build solutions either by themselves or in partnership with other bodies.
They need to rethink their communications because “what they are planning to do now might not work any longer,” he said. He cited the example of Chile where legislation was removed soon after it was introduced following wide criticisms.
Real jobs could be created through new technologies as they offer young people opportunities to work formally, he said. In addition, he urged think tanks to play a role in addressing youth unemployment, driven both by pragmatic and oral arguments. Another option is to reach out to the youth themselves as a support base, not just as an object of study.
Similarly, studies on the young people should be carried out individually and not as a single group.
Other recommendations made include:
1. Make long term commitment on youth unemployment
2. Develop and nurture partnerships and alliances (build strength in numbers, not just arguments)
3. Build consensus with the youths
4. Encourage a national conversation or dialogue about the problems and the solutions proposed
The summit ends on 7 April.
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