A Closer Look

Addressing Youth Unemployment in Africa

At a flat rate of 11.9 per cent in 2012 and 2013 as reported by the International Labour Capture d’écran 2015-08-17 à 08.50.07Organisation, compared to the current global average of 13.1 per cent, Africa does not have high levels of youth unemployment. However due to the size of the continent, and different degrees of urbanisation and shifts in economic activities, it is very difficult to generalise.

Despite being a leading economy in sub-Saharan Africa, with almost 50 per cent of unemployed youth, South Africa has one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the region. Similarly, although Nigeria’s 13 per cent youth unemployment is not well above the regional average, due to the large size of its population (around 170 million), the actual number of unemployed young people is high. On the other hand, small and land-locked Rwanda has one of the lowest youth unemployment rates globally, according to statistics from the World Bank.

Although a growing youth population is a challenge, it cannot fully explain the unemployment figures in Africa. The figures instead are largely the result of specific economic and political contexts. Lack of investment in infrastructure and subsidy for sectors with potential for creating jobs for example, have created deep structural issues. In many cases, these issues predate the youth bulge.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at allAfrica.com: Africa: Addressing Youth Unemployment – a Timely Step.

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