Lusaka, Wednesday, March 11, 2020: The United Nations Volunteer Programme (UNV) and COMESA Secretariat have revived the partnership to operationalize the Youth Internship and Volunteer Project.
This follows a meeting between the UNV Regional Manager for East and Southern African Region Mr. Njoya Tikum and COMESA Secretary General Ms. Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe. The meeting took place on 10 March 2020 at the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka.
The Project will be piloted in Comoros, Egypt, Ethiopia and Zambia.Its objectives is to increasing employment opportunities for young graduates, their employability and raising the number of young women in employment. It is also intended to improve responsive training to match industry needs and increase productivity and regional trade.
The project was approved by the COMESA Council of Ministers in 2018. It is expected to institutionalize the volunteer programme in the participating Member States, establish a national internship programme mechanism that will determine recruitment processes, contract management, codes of conduct and other policy and regulatory issues.
It will also support partnership building with relevant organizations, particularly the private sector and small and medium enterprises for the placement of volunteers and interns in places of work. This is in addition to awareness creation and mobilization of the youth on the volunteer and internship programme.
Under the partnership, COMESA Secretariat will manage and coordinate the implementation of the project while the UNV Programme will provide technical support including the design of methodologies and tools needed of the programme at both regional and country level.
“As COMESA we are very much ready to start the process to ensure operationalization of the project because youth and women in the Member States are important to our agenda,” the SG assured the UNV team. “We are willing to learn from you on what has been achieved in other RECs where similar projects are already running.”
On its part, the UNV will provide support during the start-up phase. This will include partnership identification and building, joint resource mobilization efforts and development of standard operating procedures. After three years of implementation, the project is expected to be scaled up to other
The UNV delegation included Policy Advisor Mr. Tapiwa Kamuruko and Ms Fridah Daka the UN Volunteers Country Coordinator in Zambia.