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“This Youth Employment Fund should seek to encourage and support programmes aimed at job creation for young people in the countries of BRICS,” said South Africa’s National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Chairperson Yershen Pillay.
The BRICS National Youth Consultative Forum held by the South African Foreign Ministry opened in Pretoria on Friday.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the global youth unemployment rate is estimated at 12.6 per cent and close to its crisis peak.
In an address to the forum, South African Foreign Minister Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said BRICS need to focus on “technical and vocational education, and training exchanges between our countries.”
As many as 73 million young people worldwide are estimated to be unemployed in 2013.
“Forget about the atom bomb, forget about a nuclear bomb, the ticking time bomb of youth unemployment will have far more devastating impacts if left unabated. We must launch an international war against youth unemployment. That is our biggest enemy as the youth today,” Pillay said at the forum.
The forum also stressed on the need for the BRICS Development Bank to focus on access to finance for young entrepreneurs in BRICS countries.
“To a certain extent we need to influence what its loan or funding policy will be and to ensure that it becomes youth friendly,” said Pillay.
United States based writer Mark Adomanis argues that there are stark tensions among the BRICS when compared demographically.
“What is even more interesting is that the demographic differences between the BRICs are just as vast even if we adjust for population size. India, in particular, is growing far more rapidly than any other BRICs not just in absolute but in relative terms. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Russia’s population was actually in sustained decline until just a few years ago,” Adomanis writes in an op-ed for The BRICS Post.
The South Africa forum also argued for the newly formed BRICS Business Council to create market linkages and identify opportunities for youth-owned business.
With inputs from Agencies