Senegal plans to raise $500 million from the debt market to create jobs for young people and finance youth entrepreneurship.
This is the first in Africa where riots by the youth have led to such drastic measures and other countries are going to follow suit.
ABIDJAN, June 3 (SokoNews) – Senegal plans to raise $500 million from the debt market to create jobs for young people and finance youth entrepreneurship as part of a response to riots that shook the country in March, a junior minister said on Wednesday. The riots were so bad that officials believed the country was near apocalyptic proportions.
The protests have been fueled majorly by economic inequalities and concerns over young people’s standard of living, however, the trigger was the arrest of the opposition leader and the youth took the country to the edge of hell. The youth in Senegal said enough is enough and they must have a say on what’s happening there.
In a press conference on Sunday, Mr. Cissé said the authorities “need to pause and speak with our youth” and warned that “we are on the verge of an apocalypse”. He said that the youth were ready for anything. Senegal, one of Africa’s most stable democracies, was rocked by its worst unrest in a decade after the arrest of a popular opposition politician triggered an explosion of pent-up anger over economic hardship. This was the catalyst that pushed the country to the edge of apocalyptic proportions, prompting the government to pay attention to the youth.
Following the riots, President Macky Sall announced a three-year, 450 billion CFA franc ($841 million) fund, with programs aimed at boosting youth recruitment into public service and funding for entrepreneurs. This is the first in Africa where riots by the youth have led to such drastic measures and other countries are going to follow suit. Unemployment is a time bomb across Africa with clueless leaders wondering what to do.
South Africa just announced that its unemployment rate was at 32% and Kenya, though unconfirmed, stands at 34%. With social media and ease of communication across Africa, the youth across the continent are talking and it’s only a matter of time. It’s not if, but when.
“I’m working to present the president with a plan to issue a ‘youth bond’,” Papa Amadou Sarr, a junior minister in charge of entrepreneurship in the president’s office, said on the sidelines of an investment meeting in Abidjan in Ivory Coast.
“The timing will depend on the president. We’ll be the first African country to trust in the youth, to invest in the youth for a long-term period, 15 to 30 years, and raise $500 million to support entrepreneurs developing their businesses,” Sarr told journalists.
He said the fund would target young people and women because Senegal’s previous Eurobond issues focused mainly on large infrastructure projects. Senegal raised $2.2 billion in a Eurobond issue in 2018.
The youth fund will help create 65,000 jobs over the next three years in the public sector, particularly in education, defense, cleaning, and housing, Sarr said.
Some of the funds will also be offered as nano-credits of as little as 150,000 CFA francs ($280) to women and young entrepreneurs looking to start a business. It will also support small and medium-sized operators, granting them access to guaranteed capital, Sarr said.
One thing I fault African leaders is their clueless on how to resolve the unemployment issue when focus on manufacturing, agriculture, Agro-processing and production, retail, and logistics could create countless jobs across the continent for the youth and women.