On 16th November 2017, ACP YPN, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) and the Caribbean Trade and Law Development (CTLD) provided evidence for the Inquiry the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade Out of Poverty (APPG-TOP) in partnership with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) on the Commonwealth’s potential to help developing countries trade out of poverty. The contribution is available here. All submissions can be accessed here.
This ACP YPN-CYC-CTLD contribution offers a unique insight by recognising youth as negligible actors in the process of trading out of poverty. It also recommends that the Commonwealth countries work in closer coordination and partnership with key allies, such as the ACP group of states.
The contributors urge Commonwealth countries to leverage the capacities of youth as actors in trade, investment and local development, while recognising that there are a number of difficulties engaging youth, young entrepreneurs and youth business leaders. These include a lack of disaggregated data (age, non-GDP indicators), targeted financing, and linked to the broader issue of leveraging synergies between the full array of non-state actors for structured and effective interaction between labour, capital and social constructs of Commonwealth societies.
There are a number of recommendations in this contribution, including the need to: (i) foster entrepreneurship at the level of school education, which promotes citizenship values and building of soft skills, as well as innovation and creativity via incubators; (ii) promote the enabling regulatory and legislative environment for local MSMEs participation in sustainable industrialization processes through targeted funding, in an effective cycle of inclusion in consultation and monitoring; (iii) unlock the potential that lies in targeted investment in research activities, especially on harnessing the combined forces of the ACP group and the Commonwealth states to positively impact the evolution of the international trading system, its rules and regulations.
The Youth in the Commonwealth countries are the life blood of Commonwealth nations, yet, inter alia, there needs to be mutual recognition of diplomas and the creation of platforms to harness the youth contribution to trade, investment and local development in order to trade out of poverty.
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