Generation jobless? Alarming Rate of Youth Unemployment in Africa
When : Friday, May 03, 2013
Time: 12:00 Eastern Standard Time
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Host : Kouassi Nina and Constance Walyaro
Around the world almost 300m 15– to 24-year-olds are not working. What has caused this epidemic of joblessness? And what can abate it?
Among the world’s unemployed, young people have been particularly hard hit. Youth unemployment rates are significantly higher than adult unemployment rates in both developed and developing countries. Global protest movements of young people are a manifestation of their lack of job prospects.
Senegalese opposition politicians denounced the country’s high unemployment rate to mobilize youth against former President Abdoulaye Wade in the country’s 2012 presidential election. Joblessness was one of the main issues that drove the country’s many young people into the streets and to the voting stations to press for a change of government. At least six people died in the protests, and President Wade was defeated by the current leader, Macky Sall.
In Africa, young people aged between 15 and 25 represent more than 60 per cent of the continent’s total population and account for 45 per cent of the total labour force. Unlike other developing regions, sub-Saharan Africa’s population is becoming more youthful, with youth as a proportion of the total population projected at over 75 per cent by 2015, due to the high fertility rate underlying the demographic momentum. It is expected that this increase in the number of young people will not decline before 20 years or more.
Unfortunately , youth account for 60% of all African unemployed, according to the World Bank. The incidence of youth unemployment in sub– Saharan African is estimated to be over 20 per cent. The story of Africa’s worrisome youth unemployment is often told alongside the story of the continent’s fast and steady economic growth.
In this discussion, we will analyze the reason of this high rate of youth unemployment, its consequences on African Youth and together we will try to have some ideas on how to fight youth unemployment.