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Dr. Sifa: Youth in Action


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Dr. Sifa, ICA Africa Director, at the International Co-operative Alliance Global Conference in Cape Town, November 2013.

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Dr. Sifa: Youth in Action

  1. 1. The Speech of on “Cooperative Decade: Youth in Action” Dr. Chiyoge B. Sifa ICA Africa Regional Director Cape Town, SA. 2nd November, 2013
  2. 2. Salutation • • • • • • • ICA president, Dame Pauline Green, The President, ICA Africa Region, ICA Global Director General, Charles Gould, ICA Board Members, ICA Board Youth Representatives, Cooperative Youth Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,
  3. 3. Introduction I thank the ICA Board and the Cooperative Youth Representatives for the invitation to this special session; and the inclusion of this event for the Cooperative Youth. The action plan and global campaign for the Cooperative Vision 2020 without the Youth cannot go far. The Youth are essential for the sustenance of the Cooperative Movement.
  4. 4. Definition of youth Youth is a transition period between education and employment or marriage as in our African context. The fluidity of this categorisation now prompts us to accept the United Nations’ universal definition of the youth as persons between 15- 24 years.
  5. 5. Africa youth Charter • However, the African Youth Charter upholds ages 15 -35. Whatever the category to be adopted, the all important issue is the work to be done and how the youth can be fully mobilised for cooperative business, in other to realise the cooperative goals for Vision 2020.
  6. 6. World bank Statistics • The World Bank Statistics of Africa population demographics reveals the youth population to be 65% of the total population of Africa. Africa has the youngest population in the world with over 200 million people of ages 15-24.
  7. 7. Poverty Level • Poverty level among young people in Africa is very high. According African Economic Outlook 2013, 72% of Youth in Africa live on less than two dollars per day. Many young people are passing out of colleges without jobs. The unemployment percent of African youth is estimated at 60% Africa Economic Outlook 2013, from ILO Report). This is quite high for stability in the region, and it should be worrisome to all.
  8. 8. Drivers of Employment • Cooperatives should be drivers of youth employment. The Cooperative business opens up windows of opportunities for employment for young people in all the sub-sectors of the economy. ICA Africa is calling on development partners to join in empowering our youth to build capacity for Cooperative entrepreneurial businesses in agriculture, ICT, industry and the other sub sectors.
  9. 9. Blue print • The ICA Cooperative Development Strategy is aimed at increasing job opportunities for the youth. The Strategy is structured on the ICA global strategy and Vision 2020. The goals for Vision 2020 are clearly stated in the Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade 2011-2020. The objective is for the Co-operative form of business by 2020 to become:
  10. 10. Co-operative model • The acknowledged leader in economic, social and environmental sustainability • The model preferred by people • The fastest growing form of enterprise
  11. 11. Strategic pillars • The Strategy relies on five pillars: participation, sustainability, identity, legal framework and capital. We are calling for active participation of all and especially for a greater youth involvement in Cooperatives in the region.
  12. 12. • As we gather here let us take to heart issues young people face in the continent and together let us address them to build a continent that gives hope to the youth of Africa. • Thank you.