Dr Ayodele Odusola and Mr Waseem Carrim

Centurion, 25 February 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) have launched a partnership agreement which aims to intensify efforts to reduce youth unemployment. The two entities today signed a project document which is the basis of the partnership agreement and guides the collaboration to facilitate a youth development programme that will focus on creating sustainable opportunities for young people in South Africa. The signing ceremony took place at the NYDA offices in Woodmead.

“Youth unemployment in South Africa is one of the structural and development challenges that require approaches that put emphasis on development cooperation, collaborative networks, innovation,  scalability and sustainability. Investing in practical proposals on how best to recover from COVID-19 in a way that stimulates the economy, but at the same time, galvanizes the youth to identify and use the opportunities presented by this epidemic” said Dr Ayodele Odusola, Resident Representative of the UNDP South Africa during his address at the signing ceremony.

This youth employment and enterprise development programme is a long-term youth empowerment initiative which will contribute towards achieving the objectives of government’s Youth Enterprise Development Strategy (YEDS). The programme promotes and encourages innovation, to give greater impetus to youth driven job creation initiatives, as well as to support entrepreneurs with enterprising ideas that generate self-employment and/or employment. At the core of this approach is to give young people the freedom to design and develop solutions to their problems on a small-scale with an intention of scaling the efforts for a larger impact.

“Considering the youth unemployment rate the untapped potential of our youth, there is no doubt that accelerating entrepreneurship among young people will have a positive impact not only on the social plane of bringing equity in the economy, but also by raising the levels of the overall economic indicators of South Africa . The youth bulge forms a critical mass that can be harnessed to transform the growth and destiny of the country, while minimizing the potential risks that it offers” said Mr Waseem Carrim, Chief Executive Officer of NYDA.

With young women constituting almost half of the youth population, this initiative will be gender-responsive and consider opportunities, benefits, experiences, needs and concerns of both young women and girls. In addition to gender considerations, this work also reinforces working towards the achievement to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 on decent  work and economic growth; as well as SDG 17 on partnerships for the goals.


For more information, or media interviews please contact:

United Nations Development Programme, Bobby Shabangu: bobby.shabangu@undp.org  

National Youth Development Agency, Bongekile Skosana: bongekile.skosana@nyda.gov.za


UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. www.za.undp.org.


National Youth Development Agency (hereinafter referred to as “the NYDA”) is an institution established in terms of the National Youth Development Agency Act 54 of 2008 with the mandate to advance youth development through guidance and support to initiatives across sectors of society and spheres of government, embark on initiatives that seek to advance the economic development of young people and develop and coordinate the implementation of the Integrated Youth Development Plan and Strategy for the Republic. www.nyda.gov.za



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