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Lusaka kicks off ILO’s youth consultation

The Zambian capital hosted the first of the 45 national events planned for consulting young women and men on local youth employment issues.

News | 15 March 2012

LUSAKA (ILO News) – Young people in the Zambian capital Lusaka highlighted low education, lack of skills and low levels of entrepreneurship as the main causes of youth unemployment in the country, during the first of 45 youth consultation events worldwide that the ILO is hosting during March.

The Minister of Commerce and young entrepreneurs also attended the two-day event on 6-7 March, organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

The participants also talked about limited access to finance, technology and markets which contribute to young women and men being underemployed in Zambia.

Other major concerns for Zambian youth are outdated school curriculum and skills mismatch, where the trainings offered by institutions are generally not relevant to the job market’s demands and needs.

The youngsters called for the government and other stakeholders to adopt favourable economic policies in order to create more and better jobs in the private sector.

And a secondary school student encouraged young people to actively participate in the discussions and not sit idle in matters that affect their future.

Zambia’s informal sector has been growing rapidly due to the lack of jobs for new entrants in the formal labour market. Youth represent an estimated 68 percent of the total Zambian population.

The ILO is engaging youth on the jobs crisis debate through various social media networks. Young people from across the world are sharing their voices on youth employment on the ILO’s Facebook ( and Twitter pages (

For more information, contact the ILO Programme on Youth Employment at, or the ILO Department of Communication and Public Information on +4122/799-7912, or at