Mauritanian youths learn about finance
By Raby Ould Idoumou for Magharebia in Nouakchott – 02/05/12
Young Mauritanians just attended a Nouakchott programme on personal finance that was specifically adapted to their country's unique culture and economic circumstances.
"The workshop aims to train participants in managing their own money before managing public properties," said Sidi Mohammed Ould al-Sheikh, a technical advisor in the employment ministry and a co-ordinator for International Labour Organisation (ILO) activities in Mauritania.
The ILO, Mauritania's employment ministry and Spain organised the two-day workshop, which wrapped up on Wednesday (April 26th).
"This preparatory course aims at adapting financial education for young people to the situation in Mauritania," Ould al-Sheikh explained. This system is used in Europe and the US, but is new to Africa, he said.
"Young people are usually unable to run their own enterprises, in spite of the good revenues," he added. "What happens here is that we train these young people and they will, in turn, train others later."
ILO representative Federico Barroeta said that for his organisation, "good financial management for individuals and enterprises is of the utmost importance".
"The ILO will continue to co-operate with sectors concerned with employment and training," he added.
Workshop participants learned about mechanisms for managing private assets through examples from European, Asian and African countries.
Bab Ould Bomis, Secretary-General of the Employment Ministry, said that "this initiative will help adapt financial management tools to the reality of Mauritanian young people."
"Financial management is indispensable in our modern world and one of the most effective ways to boost the capabilities of people," Ould Bomis told Magharebia.
"It also helps combat corruption," he added.
The Mauritanian government is actively drawing up plans to contain the problems of unemployed university graduates and involve them in training courses.
Al-Mostafa Ould al-Hasan, an unemployed graduate of Nouakchott University's Department of English, is eager to see action.
"These workshops are extremely important, but more profound strategies must be implemented to integrate unemployed people," he said. "The government has not yet honoured its promises about creating job opportunities so as to calm unemployed people's anger," he added. "This will certainly take time, but they must seriously think about it."
Many of his peers share his impatience. The training event came on the heels of a major protest by jobless youth. For the first time in Mauritania's history, scores of Mauritanian students staged a sit-in at the Presidential Palace in Nouakchott on April 1st to protest rampant unemployment.
National League of Unemployed University Graduates head Taoufik Ould Sidi Ould Bakari, however, is optimistic about the usefulness of programmes such as the ILO workshop.
"These courses and workshops are important for young people's careers," Ould Bakari told Magharebia.
"Young people are hasty; they want everything at one time," he added. "But the government must be given more time to be able to deal with the problem of unemployment."
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