Africa has the youngest population in the world. Currently almost 200 million Africans are aged between 15 and 24 and in Sub-Saharan Africa the median person is 18 years old — seven years younger than the median age in South Asia, the next youngest region.
Moreover, by 2045 the number of young people in Africa is set to double. This ‘demographic dividend’ offers a unique opportunity for countries to benefit from the skills and resources of a youthful workforce; however, if countries fail to create sufficient economic opportunities for this group, the potential outcomes are worrying. Given the existing structure of economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the fact that today’s youth are generally better educated than their parents, where will these young people find productive work? In the same sectors as their parents? Or are there new opportunities? Is there a gender dimension involved, and what can policymakers do to address these issues?
Deon Filmer and Louise Fox recently published a comprehensive, 280-page report on Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa that deals with these and many other related questions. In this Google Hangout*, Deon and Louise will talk about the main findings of their work, with Ahmadou Aly Mbaye as the discussant. Mary Hallward-Driemeier will chair the discussion.
Sub-Saharan Africa faces a paradox that has global relevance and implications: it will be home to the largest youth population in the world by 2050 and although literacy rates (by 6%) and education enrollment rates (by 9%) have been on the rise, youth unemployment continues to hover above 60% across the region. How will African youth create or secure sustainable and meaningful livelihoods? And more specifically, who is responsible for youth employment in Africa?
With this in mind, we will be posing the closing question “What does successful cross-sector collaboration look like?” during the closing webinar and concurrent twitter chat for the Fair Observer series on September 17th: “Collaborating to Solve Youth Employment”.
ABN’s Lindsay Williams speaks with Mthuli Ncube, Chief Economist & Vice President, African Development Bank.
The 2012 UN Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) took place on 5 and 6 July at the UN headquarters in New York. It brought together policy makers, civil society organizations, Members of Parliaments, local authorities and foundations from rich and poor countries. As part of the discussions at the DCF, a series of Face to Face video conversations were organized.
Watch the video conversation, “Youth employment in Africa: how can development cooperation contribute to the solutions?” featuring:
Mr. Patrick Guillaumont, FERDI – Moderator;
H.E. Mr. Abdelouahed Souhail, Minister of Employment and Vocational Training of Morocco; and
Mr. Adrien Akouete, Deputy Secretary General, ITUC Africa