With almost 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24, the African continent boasts of the youngest population in the world and by 2045, that figure is expected to double.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is working on providing the youths with the skills, education and jobs they need to secure their future.
Available data shows that although between 10 and 12 million young Africans enter the work force each year only three million formal jobs are created annually.
Besides, the youths often lack the skills required by employers, despite gains in education access over the past several decades.
“We need a sense of urgency in tackling the issue of unemployment, the president, AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, said, during a Fireside Chat on Youth in Africa co-hosted by a young African entrepreneur and the founder of Mara Group and Mara Foundation, Ashish J. Thakkar, on May 26, at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the AfDB.
Adesina underscored the need to invest in skills development to facilitate job creation. He pointed out that the bank has taken bold steps to turn Africa’s phenomenal youth bulge into an economic dividend by developing a strategy that would create 25 million jobs for youths on the continent as well as equip an additional 50 million in the next decade. The programmes, which initially focus on the bank’s high-priority sectors of agriculture, industry, and ICT, will include an index to measure youth employment outcomes and enabling policies at the country level, and provide information on the evolution of labour market performance over time.
It can also be used as a tool to incentivise policy-makers to pursue agendas favourable to youth employment.
“The skill sets and jobs of the future are digital. The world is changing fast,” Adesina said, calling for skills development in information technology and agriculture.
Source : Leadership