Youth unemployment can be tackled by young entrepreneurs when the right policies are put in place, UNCTAD meeting to hear

25 April 2014

Investment and development stakeholders will discuss how to create jobs for young people by promoting youth entrepreneurship, and take stock of inspiring work done so far, at the sixth session of UNCTAD’s Investment, Enterprise and Development Commission from 28 April to 2 May 2014.

About 75 million young people are unemployed worldwide, with many abandoning hopes of entering the labour market, so policies that enable young people to start their own businesses and generate jobs for others are needed more than ever.

UNCTAD has formulated a comprehensive Policy Framework of entrepreneurship as a tool for governments in developing countries.

Speakers will relate their experience of implementing UNCTAD's Entrepreneurship Policy Framework at a high-level panel on the afternoon of 28 April.

The panelists will be:

  • The First Lady of Ethiopia, Ms. Roman Tesfaye
  • The Minister of Trade and Industry of Ghana, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu
  • The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts of Cameroon, Mr. Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa
  • The Minister of Youth and Sport of Zambia, Mr. Chishimba Kambwili
  • The keynote speech of the session will be delivered by the Deputy-Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Ms. Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba.

Illustrating work that is being done to instill entrepreneurship in young people in their respective countries will be representatives of UNCTAD's Empretec programme in Uganda and Jordan. Empretec is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship in developing countries and economies in transition and has trained and motivated more than 350,000 aspiring entrepreneurs in 35 countries.

The 10 finalists of UNCTAD's Empretec Women in Business Award (WBA) will also be announced. The award celebrates exceptional business women who have benefitted from Empretec's entrepreneurship development training and have gone on to become role models by creating jobs, inspiring others and improving the quality of life of their local communities.

On its second day, the Commission will hear the final ministerial presentations of UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Review of Bangladesh (morning) and Investment Policy Review of Mongolia (afternoon). These reviews suggest concrete ways these developing countries can attract and diversify foreign direct investment to improve the lives of their citizens.

The Minister of Industries of Bangladesh, Mr. Amir Hossain Amu, and the Vice Minister of Economic Development of Mongolia, Mr. Ochirbat Chuluunbat will be present.  

In the morning of the third day of the Commission,  the Investment Policy Review of Moldova will be presented to the Vice Minister of Economy of Moldova, Mr. Octavian Calmîc, while the afternoon is reserved for a discussion on technology and innovation for inclusive development.

An expert panel will talk about the mechanisms and tools that are available to developing countries to address social challenges through the formulation of their science, technology and innovation policy frameworks, especially in the context of a post-2015 development agenda.

Following a day of informal consultations on 1 May, the Commission will close on 2 May with a briefing by Mr. James Zhan, Director of UNCTAD's Investment and Enterprise Division, who will look forward to the World Investment Forum 2014 to be held in Geneva in October.