Education and work in the Middle East and North Africa region will determine the livelihoods of over 300 million people and drive growth and development for generations to come. As one of the youngest populations in the world, it is imperative that the region make adequate investments in education and learning that hold value in the labour market and prepare citizens for the world of tomorrow. In addition, as the global transformation of work unfolds in the region, policymakers, business leaders and workers must be prepared to proactively manage this period of transition.
With more than half of Africa’s population under the age of 25, many experts believes the continent’s greatest resource and potential competitive advantage could lie in the hands of its youth as they enter the workforce. However, economic growth on the continent has not yet translated into opportunities for young people to earn a sustainable livelihood — representing both missed potential and a societal risk as they could become alienated and marginalized.
According to the World Bank Development Report on Digital Dividends (2016), the rapid spread of digital technologies around the world is boosting economic growth and expands opportunities in many instances; but the benefits of technological changes are not evenly distributed to workers globally. For high-skilled workers, technology in most cases complements their skills, increases their productivity, and often leads to higher wages.
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA)
The role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in strengthening and promoting agricultural enterprises has never been greater.Furthermore, governments, private sector, multi-lateral and non-governmental organisations (NGO), and especially young people, are increasingly viewing the intersection of ICTs and the agriculture sector as a prime means of tackling the global youth unemployment challenge by enabling enterprise.
Over 100 years ago, Napoleon reportedly said of China: “Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” In light of China’s rapid economic growth in the 21st century, the French general’s view seems justified. Although it still has deep developmental gaps, China has made rapid progress to become the world’s second largest economy as well as the world’s workshop – filling every corner of the globe with an amazing range of products.
Tanzania is currently facing an undeniable challenge: there are few girls in the information and communication technology (ICT) field, and those who want to join the field often opt instead for roles that commonly have limited vacancies, like doctor’s positions. This leads to a scarcity of female role models who have thrived in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and ICT.
With its rich oil and gas deposits, Algeria has long been able to sidestep many of the social and economic challenges facing other North African nations. But as oil prices drop and the youth population grows, young Algerians are feeling the pressure: On average, 1 in 4 Algerian youth is unemployed; among college grads, the jobless rate is close to twice the national average.
The process of implementing developmental evaluation for The Rockefeller Foundation’s youthdigital employment initiative yielded some valuable lessons which could be of benefit to the evaluation community, particularly evaluation practitioners and managers. This paper presents those lessons, including the challenges the evaluation team faced, the solutions it brokered, and the insights to be applied in the future.