ILO urges Africa to join the Global Youth Initiative

Helen Shok Jok, Geneva


The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called on African countries to join the Global Youth Initiative.

International Labour Organisation (ILO) Regional Director for Africa, Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, made the call in Geneva, Switzerland, when she received  the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr William Alo, and his delegation who paid her a courtesy visit in her Office in Geneva, Switzerland, during the on-going  2019 International Labour Conference (ILC).

She commended Nigeria for being one of the five countries in the world that is a member of the Global Youth Initiative and called on other African countries to emulate her.

“It is the only country in Africa that is part of the Global Youth Initiative and not surprising that Nigeria is hosting the Global Youth Employment Forum in August, 2019.

“We appreciate the commitment of the President and People of Nigeria to the hosting right and wish the country a successful event”, she stated.

Samuel-Olonjuwon disclosed that the Director-General, International Labour Organisation, Mr Guy Ryder, would be physically present to declare open the Forum and equally pay a state visit to Nigeria.

She said Nigeria, as a member of the Global Youth Initiative, would strategically use the opportunity as a country to further her course in the comity of nations.

Earlier the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment Mr William Alo, confirmed Nigeria’s readiness to host the Global Youth Employment Forum.


 “The President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the hosting of the event by Nigeria.

“An Inter-Ministerial Committee has been set up involving all relevant government Agencies and series of meetings and planning are ongoing towards the success of the event”, he added.

Alo also sought for more collaboration with the ILO for the country to perform and deliver more on labour issues.

He further renewed Nigeria’s  request for the upgrading of the ILO Office in Abuja and as well as the employment of more Nigerian professionals into the Office in order to bridge what he called  the under-representation of Nigeria in the ILO workforce in view Nigeria’s status and contributions to the organisation.

He called on the ILO to correct the international arrangements of reserving permanent seats for Countries of Chief Industrial Importance “as ILO prepares to adopt a new Centenary Declaration based on social justice and inclusiveness.”

The Global Youth Initiative brings together about twenty United Nations Agencies to support the Global Youth Employment Agenda.

As part of the  ILO Centenary celebration,  about 350 youths from across the globe will converge on Nigeria in August to discussed issues on youth development and employment.

The ILO Director-General, Mr Guy Ryder is expected to attend the programme.