There is an urgent need to create opportunities for youths and women in Africa by addressing the multi-facetted causes of youth and women unemployment to further the attainment of inclusive economic growth in the continent.
Although women and youth are Africa’s greatest assets, today’s reality is that they do not have stable economic opportunities. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB) statistics, one-third of Africa’s nearly 420 million youth aged 15 to 35 are unemployed and discouraged. The problem is not just unemployment but underemployment.
To ameliorate this situation, the AfDB has designed a Jobs for Youth in Africa (JfYA) strategy to increase direct and indirect employment. “The future of our young people does not belong at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. It lies in us tapping their talents and putting our resources to support them,” says AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
The Bank is deeply involved in other initiatives aimed at empowering the youths and women on the continent. In Tunisia, the Souk At-tanmia initiative which offers training in entrepreneurial skill has contributed 400 jobs, especially among the youths and women. The Bank is also collaborating with the International Cocoa Organisation in Abidjan to explore ways of boosting Africa’s cocoa industry to increase business and employment opportunities for the youths and women.
Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment for Youth in African Agriculture (ENABLE) is another initiative of the AfDB targeted at reaching 800,000 youths in 20 countries in southern, eastern and western Africa regions.
By Dike Onwuamaeze