30 November 2017

Burundi: AU-EU Committed to Supporting African Youths

Following the AU-EU summit which is taking place in Abidjan- Ivory Coast, the chairmen of EU and AU commissions jointly issued a communiqué reaffirming their strong commitment to support Africa.

Jean Claude Juncker, chairman of the EU commission says EU pledges to support Africa with an amount of £31 billion. "This is for youth investment by the year 2020 dedicated to their development assistance, a "chance" given to them to "prosper in their country," he says.

The statement signed by both Jean Claude Juncker, EU chairman and Moussa Faki, AU chairman, says both Unions are undergoing major transformations. "Europe is on its way to becoming the "oldest" region of the world by 2030 while Africa by far the "youngest. The African population is expected to double by 2050 to 2.4 billion and quadruple by 2,100 billion to more than 4 billion inhabitants.

Juncker and Faki believe 18 million jobs need to be created each year in Africa. "Africa is a continent of the future. It has a booming entrepreneurial sector that is developed for it. "

Both of them agree that the active participation of the private sector is imperative. "The role of the EU remains indispensable. One-third of foreign direct investment in Africa comes from the EU. The latter expects to contribute more than 40 billion Euro by 2020", the statement reads.

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General says young people are the engine of all societies and there is a need to listen to them. "We need to put them at the heart of our national and international development plans. Meeting their aspirations is essential in a development perspective", he says.

The Burundian government recently announced to set up an investment bank to promote youths' development projects. President Pierre Nkurunziza announced that the investment bank will provide loans to young people. Banks will analyze the projects presented by different youth associations in order to finance them according to their importance.

Burundi youths aged between 18 and 35 years old are estimated at 52%. Local NGO say 52.5% of youths are unemployed.

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