To address the rising involvement of young people, who constitute 80 percent of the nation’s population in crimes and other social vices, Baywood Foundation has set up an internship scheme with a capacity to absorb over 200,000 youths across Africa.
Planned in conjunction with African Union (AU), the scheme would among others, provide innovative approaches towards addressing the challenges of young people.
Founder of Baywood Foundation, Chris Baywood Ibe, said the foundation would next year begin a pilot phase with seed capital to finance the project.He spoke in Lagos at one-day consultative dialogue workshop on fostering new approaches to address the challenges of the African youth organized by the Foundation to celebrate Africa Youth day, themed: “1 million by 2021: Beyond Rhetoric”.
The 1 million by 2021 is an African Union initiative, aimed at reaching African youth with opportunities and interventions in the key areas of Employment, Entrepreneurship, Education and Engagement (4Es), which will accelerate socioeconomic development on the continent.
Speaking on the scheme, Ibe, who was represented by his wife, Patricia, said the foundation is collaborating with the AU to provide an avenue for effective youth participation in governance, institutional transformation, peace building and conflict resolution, and effective stakeholder outreach within the continent.
He said: “Baywood Foundation, in support of African Union’s 1 million by 2021 initiative, which is set out to create direct opportunities for the development of the African Youth, has proposed a continental launch of a youth intern and retain programme.
“This Pan-African initiative, which will seek greater opportunities for youth participation in governance and peace building on a continental level was announced at a recent convening with the African Union in Addis Ababa.
“It is a multi-dimensional initiative that will not only create inclusive opportunities for youth but also develop their intrinsic capabilities for future leadership roles.”He threw his weight behind a proposal for African heads of government to legislate the 30 percent youth affirmative action and urged AU to proclaim it as a matter of urgency.