Out-of-School Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Policy Perspective

The World Bank

The economic and social prospects are daunting for the 89 million out-of-school youth who comprise nearly half of all youth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Within the next decade when this cohort becomes the core of the labor market, an estimated 40 million more youth will drop out, and will face an uncertain future without work and life skills. Their lack of work and life skills will impair these youth’s ability to get good jobs in desirable occupations, resulting in low and unstable incomes while exposing them to potentially long periods of unemployment.

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Complex Paths: Supporting Mixed Livelihoods in Liberia

Mercy Corps

The Prospects program’s Employment and Entrepreneurship program seeks to improve employment outcomes for ‘work-ready’ youth in Liberia – young people of legal working age with at least some education who are seeking employment or self-employment. This paper explains how traditional concepts of ‘employment’ as a singular state do not apply in Liberia – rather, almost all young Liberians earn income from multiple sources, with a mixed livelihood or portfolio of work.

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Akazi Kanoze: Youth Livelihoods Project

Workforce Connections

Akazi Kanoze is a flagship USAID-funded youth livelihoods project in Rwanda, implemented by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). The approach is representative of a body of youth WFD programming that seeks to reach a target population, such as marginalized youth, and link them to improved employment opportunities.

Cities of Opportunity: Drivers and Priorities for Urban Youth Economic Inclusion

Making Cents International

Throughout history, cities have accelerated economic development and wealth creation around the world. In fact, the road to prosperity, it has been argued, inevitably runs through cities.Though there is much heterogeneity among cities of various sizes and locales, the concentration of people, business, and services in urban areas generally allows for increased commerce, ideas and innovation.

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S4YE 2015-2020 Strategic Plan

Solutions for Youth Employment

Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE) is a multi-stakeholder coalition among public sector, private sector, and civil society actors that aims to provide leadership and resources for catalytic action to increase the number of young people engaged in productive work. The S4YE coalition was founded, in partnership, by Accenture, International Labour Organization (ILO), International Youth Foundation (IYF), Plan International, RAND Corporation, the World Bank, and Youth Business International (YBI).

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The Digital Jobs Africa Network: Increasing Effectiveness through Knowledge Exchange

Making Cents International

Making Cents International is forming and facilitating a network of organizations who offer demand-driven training for digital jobs and job placement to disadvantaged, high potential youth. The network is comprised of 16 of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Digital Jobs Africa (DJA) grantees and partners in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. The network kicked off in October 2014.

Education Matters, But Skills Matter More


Originally published by Devex on June 30, 2015

When I was 18 years old, full of ambition, zeal and energy, I graduated from high school in Kampala, Uganda, with good grades and a great command of the English language. With my gap year at hand, I combed the streets of Uganda’s capital, looking for a job. After being turned down several times for not having the right skills, through a friend’s mother I was finally hired at a fruit juice factory where I hauled heavy juice boxes. My strength was the only skill needed and I was thrilled to be earning a meager $1.25 a day.

The Impact of Financial Education for Youth in Ghana

Poverty Action Lab
We evaluate, using a randomized trial, two school-based financial literacy education programs in
government-run primary and junior high schools in Ghana. One program integrated financial and social
education, whereas the second program only offered financial education. Both programs included a
voluntary after-school savings club that provided students with a locked money box. After nine months,
both programs had significant impacts on savings behavior relative to the control group, mostly because
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Including Childcare in Youth Employment Projects

The World Bank, Adolescent Girls Initiative

In many settings, women are the primary childcare providers, and motherhood begins during adolescence. For young mothers without strong family and social support systems, lack of affordable childcare can prevent them from participating in youth employment projects. Accessible childcare services can increase young women’s participation rates in training, their productivity (in terms of decreased absenteeism and retention), and there may also be benefits for children’s development outcomes.

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