1. If you look at the 3 regions that we focus on (MENA, Horn of Africa, Sahel) – can you mention specific trends per region which are relevant for the strategy. Are there, for example, specific sectors where there is much to be gained? Or specific skills that young people lack in a certain region or sector?
Population growth is higher in the SAHEL countries than in other region. The youth bulge can be an opportunity or a thread, depending on the opportunities offered to these youth. Unemployment and lack of voice will frustrate young people and the problem of security and terrorism in the Sahel and surroundings (including Europe) will only grow. A negative downwards spiral could develop with disastrous impact on the Sahel and West Africa with impact also on Europe as West Africa/Sahel could be(come) an important market for Europe with mutual benefits. Important sectors: - governance: (progressive) tax collection, (longterm and annual) budget formulation, implementation capacity, accountability, increasing country financing of development plan. Fighting against corruption. Proper handling of 'mining' of natural ressources. - job creation, especially for young boys and girls - education, not only primary education for girls and for boys, but also skills training and entrepreneur training. The quality of education needs to be considered. - health including SRGR, HIV/AIDS control and mental health. Use of family planning in the Sahel is still low and fertility remains high. Demographic transition in (West)Africa differs from other regions. SRGR includes many issues on the rights of women and the changing attitude of men.
The NL embassy in Cotonou developed a Youth Strategy for the embassy. The document may interest you and it is attached.
2. Do you have examples of successful "scaled up" initiatives / programs in the field of education and work to increase youth employment, and if so, which ones? Or do you know of certain successful initiatives that are worth scaling up in the 3 regions mentioned?
Food security program supported by NL embassy in Benin Comprehensive sexual education in Benin
3. Do you have specific ideas or additions about how we can make young people part of this policy? How do we ensure that they participate in the implementation of this strategy?
At least in the Sahel/West Africa there are a number of regional youth organisations. A workshop could be organised with representatives of these organisations and some handpicked figures, in which the concept of the youth strategy is discussed.
I think the emphasis should be on young people supporting/participating in the national/regional development plans. Not in the implementation of a Dutch youth strategy. The discussion with the youth should be how the Dutch strategy can/should support youth participation in the development, implementation and monitoring/evaluating national development plans.
As the SDG's are global, and not only because of that, it could be useful to include some Dutch young people in such a workshop (NJR ?)