By Yonas Asefa
ADDIS ABEBA – The European Union signed on Friday an agreement with German development agency in support of the Skills Initiative for Africa program.
The initiative aims to train youth in Africa in skills and vocation training.
The 8 million Euro grant to the African Union’s “Skills Initiative for Africa” (SIFA) Program was signed in the presence of Addis Abeba-based European Union officials and German International Cooperation agency or GIZ.
The officials signed the deal in the margins of the bilateral dialogue between the African Union and Germany.
After the signing, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel´s Personal Representative for Africa, Günther Nooke said Berlin “highly welcomes” that the European Union and Germany are joining forces to support the initiative.
SIFA was initiated in 2016 by the then chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Ms. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and German development Minister Dr. Gerd Müller to tackle the challenge of youth unemployment on the African continent.
Nooke said Germany believes that, “in the end, it is private companies, start-ups, service providers which will generate the needed jobs for the young people on the continent”.
With this initiative, however, the European nation “want to strengthen the cooperation between the private sector, government institutions and TVET providers to come up with innovative ideas for high-quality training which is at high demand on the labour market”, Nooke said.
African union too welcomed the expansion of the Initiative and its commitment to tackle youth employment holistically.
Apart from scale up the current tasks of SIFA, European Union planms to kick start new areas of action for the program, said German embassy in a statement sent to The Daily Monitor.