Thursday, 5 September 2013

Digital jobs offer skills, promise to Africa's unemployed youth

Digital jobs offer skills, promise to Africa's unemployed youth

Africa’s economy has expanded rapidly in recent years, it has not kept pace with the growth of its youth population or their need for jobs.

With almost 200 million people between 15 and 24 years old - a figure that is set to double by 2045, according to the African Economic Outlook’s (AEO) 2012report - the continent has the youngest population in the world. Yet despite the increasing percentage of Africa’s young people with secondary and tertiary educations, many find themselves unemployed or underemployed in the informal economy. Part of the problem, according to the AEO study, is a mismatch between the skills young jobs seekers have to offer and those that employers need.

The Rockefeller Foundation recently launched Digital Jobs Africa, a seven-year, US$83 million initiative to improve the lives of one million people in six African countries through digital job opportunities and skills training.

The six focus countries - Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa - share particularly high youth unemployment rates and have rapidly developing information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructures. Some, such as Nigeria and South Africa, have booming ICT sectors in need of labour, while others, such as Morocco, are well-placed to meet demand from Europe and the US.

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