On International Youth Day we celebrate young people — their courage, passion, optimism and their current and future contributions to our world. Today marks a day to reflect on what we have learned in the youth development community and where we are headed. One thing is for sure: It’s a young person’s world out there. There are currently about 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 24. And they represent a tremendous opportunity for our planet.
Unemployment can lead to social as well as economic problems, writes Jonathan Ugiagbe, 30, a Correspondent from Benin in Nigeria, who examines causes and potential solutions to a pervasive issue. One of the greatest challenges facing the Nigerian economy is unemployment, which has maintained a rising trend over the years. Viewing this from the perspective of the recent events in the Middle East, where unemployment and poverty are among issues that played a key role in the uprising, one can only conclude that Nigeria’s unemployment poses a threat to development, security and peaceful co-existence.
“The mentality of youth in Senegal is changing. These days, young Senegalese aren’t waiting for job opportunities to fall from the sky. They are actively working towards creating them for themselves, and for other youth.” These words, spoken by 30 year old Thierno Niang, a social entrepreneur and co-founder of Rev’evolution, a youth run, self-funded start up incubator, struck a chord with me. Thierno and I were discussing his role as a panel moderator for the Youth Forum on Employment, Training, and Inclusion: A Knowledge-Sharing Event for Sub-Saharan Africa, the first ever youth event of its kind organized by the World Bank office in Senegal.
The MasterCard Foundation
The release of the 2015-2016 MasterCard Foundation Youth Think Tank Report is the culmination of ten months of effort from our Youth Think Tank participants. These are dedicated, committed young researchers who take their responsibilities seriously and now join an alumni network of close to 30 members across Africa. It also represents the efforts and commitment of Restless Development and the Foundation to the meaningful engagement of young people. Since its inception in 2011, the Youth Think Tank has evolved. Through our partnership, we’ve increased the number of young researchers, deepened the scope and extended the duration of the research.
The World Bank
Amadou Fall Ba is not your average Senegalese manager. Dressed in jeans, a t-shirt, and a wide-brimmed baseball cap that only leaves his head for formal occasions, he doesn’t fit the mold of a suited up professional that many youth are presented as the model of today’s African success. That’s because he’s represents a homegrown alternative to this mold, a different kind of success story that excels outside the corporate sphere and that is attracting talented young people that are looking to create their own professional opportunities.
International Labor Organization
To help inspire and prepare young people for a rapidly changing and highly competitive job market, the GE Foundation is launching an innovative learning programme to provide 16 to 18 year olds with a practical work experiences in STEM careers for the workforce of tomorrow. On the occasion of the UN’s World Youth Skills Day , the GE Foundation in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), have committed to quality, workplace-based experience for an under-served and critical age group. The programme, called the Global Youth Internship Programme, will start in Boston, to be managed by the Boston Private Industry Council, and then expand globally in partnership with international NGOs.
Altai Consulting for IOM Somalia
This research project aims to study the relationship between youth, employment and migration, looking at three main questions: 1) Who constitutes the youth workforce in Somalia, and are these young people satisfied with their situation? 2) How can the economic situation of dissatisfied youth be explained: is the source of the problem structural (not enough demand), or does it result from frictions within the labour market? Can youth create their own job opportunities through entrepreneurship? 3) Does dissatisfaction with occupation and level of income, along with difficulties to navigate the job market, alone explain irregular migration amongst youth?
Indego Africa’s Vocational Training program, which launched in February 2016, provides young, unemployed Rwandans with artisan skills training and business education to help them build careers in the artisan sector and gain financial independence. How does it all work? Here’s the scoop: The program runs on six-month semesters with 45 participants per semester. Three days per week, these young people receive artisan vocational training at Indego Africa partner cooperatives—the artisan businesses responsible for the bright baskets, accessories and apparel you see on our website.
Kenya has signed a Sh36 billion financing agreement with the World Bank to facilitate youth employment, health and education amid concerns over the high level of public debt. The project will respond to high numbers of new young entrants to the labour market who are presently outpacing capacity of the economy to absorb them in productive employment,” said Mr Rotich. The money signed between Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich and World Bank country director Diarietou Gaye include loans worth Sh31.89 billion and a grant of Sh4.11 billion.
African countries are experiencing the issue in varying degrees. Education and infrastructure problems are often cited. However, members of Future Forward, a network of leading social entrepreneurs, youth-serving professionals, and youth changemakers across Africa, have pinpointed a key — and often ignored — challenge: young people in Africa lack the opportunity to become authentic leaders.In other words, young people don’t have many options when it comes to leadership opportunities, in part due to mindsets around the capabilities of youth.