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World Bank Report Outlines Priorities to Address Africa’s Youth Employment Challenge

by on February 4, 2014

We hear and read the phrase ‘demographic time bomb’ so often that we automatically associate this with the challenges of ageing populations in many countries.  The World Bank however usefully turn our attention to the fact that “Eleven million youth are expected to enter Africa’s labor market every year for the next decade“.  The summary of the report highlights the challenges for education (at least to ensure basic literacy) and the range of employment scenarios that young people face.  This includes formal employment but also the informal sector and the continuing role of young people on “millions of small family-run farms“.

The story highlights the complex interaction of factors that can result in poverty for Africa’s youth but also sounds an optimistic note that youth employment might fuel  economic development.  Discussing the issues of Africa as a whole however can hide a huge disparity of experience and opportunity across the continent, an issue the World Bank is quick to acknowledge as it reviews the different outcomes of youth employment initiatives in different countries.

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