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Africa’s 40 million youth make up 60% of continent’s unemployed – Report

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YouthUnemploymentThe African continent’s 40 million youth is said to be 60 percent of the continent’s unemployed. And the number of youth in Africa will double by 2045, according to the African Economic Outlook 2012.

The report warns that youth unemployment figures will increase unless Africa moves swiftly to make youth employment a priority, turning its human capital into economic opportunity.

“On the other hand, youths can present a significant threat to social cohesion and political stability if they do not secure decent living conditions,” it adds.

The report, co-written by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD Development Centre, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), therefore calls on African countries to boost job creation and help young people acquire new skills.

It indicates that between the year 2000 and 2008, “despite world-topping economic growth rates, and a better educated youth, Africa created only 16 million jobs for young people aged between 15 and 24,” adding, “Today, youth represent 60 percent of the continent’s unemployed, and of these 40 million youths, 22 million have given up on finding a job, many of them women.”

The report’s authors argue that creating jobs for the youth is key to the continent’s prosperity.

“Creating productive employment for Africa’s rapidly growing young population is an immense challenge but also the key to future prosperity”, the authors say in the foreword.

Commenting on the report, Prof. Mthuli Ncube, Chief Economist and Vice-President of the AfDB said,  “The continent is experiencing jobless growth. That is an unacceptable reality on a continent with such an impressive pool of youth, talent and creativity”.

According to the report, high growth alone is not sufficient to guarantee productive employment.

“Youth employment is largely a problem of quality in low-income countries and one of quantity in middle-income countries,” it says.

Among other suggestions, the report recommends that African countries design better coordinated strategies to effectively tackle youth employment, focusing on job creation in the private sector while providing the right conditions for businesses of all sizes to grow and expand their work force.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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One comment

  1. Because leaders in that continent are visionless, corrupt, greedy and unaccobuntable. Have all the book knowledge but creativity, vision when it comes to job creation.
    Selfishness is all they think of and no legacy since slavery. Voting them out of office is the only option.