Making Cents International
Originally posted on Devex.com, September 22, 2014.
Making Cents International
According to the recently released United Nations report (“World Urbanization Prospects”), more than half of humanity now lives in cities. Today, 54% of the world’s population, 3.9 billion people, resides in urban areas, compared to only 30% back in 1950. The report predicts that cities will add an additional 2.5 billion people by 2050, with nearly 90% of this increase happening in Asia and Africa.
International Labour Office and The MasterCard Foundation
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is in the grip of an unemployment crisis that is mainly affecting its countries’ youth populations. The region’s unemployment rates among the youth cohort are twice as high as the global average and are particularly high among those with tertiary education. High unemployment rates are accompanied by increased shares of inactivity among youth, with too many youth withdrawing from the labour market due to family responsibilities or discouragement with their labour market prospects.
The World Bank
On December 14th and 15th donor and borrower country representatives of the World Bank Group will meet in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to finalize details for the 18th replenishment of IDA. The final agreement on IDA18 is expected to usher in a new era for IDA, the Bank’s fund for the poorest, dramatically increasing the level of financing and the potential for impact on development for the world’s poorest countries.
After three and half years of work, we have finally completed our systematic review of youth employment programs. Many thanks to the co-authors who did the heavy lifting (Jose Manuel Romero, Jonathan Stöterau, Felix Weidenkaff and Marc Witte). The paper was presented at our recent Jobs and Development Conference. The team went over 40,000 papers to eventually find 103 that reported on credible impact evaluations of youth employment programs. These were more-or-less equally focused on high and middle/low income countries. These studies were codified in detail, including programs’ design features so that we could understand why some worked and others did not.
Zambia is currently under pressure to increase the pace of the economic transformation to create more productive jobs. Despite rapid economic growth from 2000-2013, the country is struggling to provide the kind of jobs needed to help spur sustainable growth and development. The landlocked country is also one of Africa’s youngest countries by median age, and youth (aged 15-24) who are a significant and increasing share of the working population, are finding it hard to get jobs.
In August, when Chris Kwekowe met Bill Gates during a television interview that featured some of Africa’s brightest young entrepreneurs, he didn’t ask the Microsoft founder for a job or business advice. Instead, the 23-year-old Nigerian told Gates how he had turned down a software engineer role at Microsoft.“[Gates] was really intrigued, and he smiled,” says Kwekowe, 23. “After the program, all the directors were like, ‘Dude, you mean you actually turned down a job at Microsoft and had the guts to tell Bill Gates ?”
Youth Service America
The SDGs build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty. The new Goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries - regardless of income - to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
Humankind has achieved unprecedented social progress over the past several decades. Poverty has declined dramatically around the world and people are healthier, more educated and better connected than ever before. However, this progress has been uneven. Social and economic inequalities persist and, in many cases, have worsened. Virtually everywhere, some individuals and groups confront barriers that prevent them from fully participating in economic, social and political life. Against this backdrop, inclusiveness and shared prosperity have emerged as core aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.