Africa has the youngest population in the world with over 200 million people aged between 15 and 24. These youths account for 60% of all African unemployed, according to the World Bank. In North Africa, the youth unemployment rate is an eyebrow-raising 30%. It is even worse in Botswana, the Republic of the Congo, Senegal, South Africa and several other countries.
According to the African Economic Outlook, on average, more than 70% of Africa’s youth live on less than US$2 per day, the internationally defined poverty threshold.
The children and youth population of Africa continues to grow rapidly. Africa has the highest rates of child mortality (1 in 6) and malnutrition (36%) in the world in children up to 5 years of age. Africa has the worst schooling outcomes in the world (51% out of school) in the age group from 6 to 14 years.
According to Ahmad Salkida, a Nigerian journalist who has had rare access to the militant group Boko Haram, “although the sect is mainly driven by ideology, pervasive unemployment in northern Nigeria makes for easy recruitment of jobless young people”. According to Norwegian demographer Henrik Urdal, a country’s risk of conflict rises four percentage points for every one-point increase in the youth population. This was particularly evident during the 2011-2012 Arab Spring in North Africa. The consequences of high youth unemployment in a continent where about 12 million young people join the labour market each year are grave.
Africa’s growing youth population comes with high energy, creativity and talents, which can translate prosperity for Africa if better galvanized. The African Union, various national governments and organized private sector need to urgently start to facilitate an environment where students in primary and secondary schools can take risks and make mistakes to exercise creativity. For sustainable development in Africa to occur we believe that community-based entrepreneurship education is a key success factor. Catalyzing entrepreneurship at the local level, from the field and with engagement from government is key.
WHO WE ARE
AFROSEED is a Pan-African Initiative With A Mission Of Igniting The Imaginative And Problem-Solving Abilities Of Young People In Africa, fostering access to functional entrepreneurship education, financial literacy, and economic citizenship education. The organisation is focused on SOWING the SEED for Africa’s peace and prosperity through entrepreneurship and innovation