Senegal’s leader promises jobs for youth

President Macky Sall said on Thursday in Diamniadio (Dakar), his commitment to support Senegalese youth in their quest for employment.By…

President Macky Sall said on Thursday in Diamniadio (Dakar), his commitment to support Senegalese youth in their quest for employment.By Abdourahmane Diallo 

The Senegalese head of state was reassuring in his inaugural speech at the Presidential Council on Employment and Integration of Youth.

“I especially want you to understand that whatever the difficulties, whatever the circumstances, the state will not abandon you,” he said.

 Pointing out that the fight against youth unemployment is a long-term battle that is not won in one day, Sall reiterated his determination to continue “the fight” against unemployment. 

“I will always be at your side, looking for solutions to your problems. The government will remain mobilized and the state will provide the necessary means to meet the challenge,” he said.

 In his twenty-minute speech, President Sall also expressed his willingness to listen to young people, hear their views, share their concerns and engage in constructive dialogue with them. 

All this, in order to best respond to their expectations, ambitions and aspirations.

 “We adults have been in your shoes. We have experienced what you are experiencing now. I can therefore easily feel your questions, your doubts, your expectations, your hopes. I can easily understand your needs, your aspirations and your legitimate ambitions to be useful to yourselves, your families, your communities and your country,” he added.

Listing the “appreciable efforts” made to address the intractable issue of unemployment, the Senegalese leader admitted that these “have their limits.”

“Firstly, because the state cannot recruit all candidates for employment in the public service, […] but also because we have been brutally caught up by the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he explained.

 On this basis, he indicated that the “Emergency Programme for Employment and Socio-Economic Insertion of Young People,” which will emerge from the Presidential Council, will be “pragmatic, action-oriented, and operational in a diligent manner at the national level.”

 He added: “I wanted the preparatory process of the Council to be inclusive, starting from the realities of our territories, and involving the youth in all its components.”

 To carry out this project, Macky Sall also stressed the need to control population growth and ensure education and training that correspond to market needs. 

According to him, this promotes the employability of job seekers, especially young graduates.

 He also encouraged the private sector to give more support to dual school-enterprise training, to give young people “the chance of a lifetime” and to help them better prepare for work life.