Youth population in Sub-Saharan Africa spells doom for job seekers

The population of Sub-Saharan Africa is set to double to two billion by 2050, bringing with it challenges for young people joining the job market. In countries like Kenya and Nigeria, the competitive employment sector is already a challenging concept for many college graduates and job seekers, a recent study from GE Reports has revealed.

GE Reports, a product of research and innovation hub, GE Africa says that the vast majority of Sub-Saharan Africa’s growing population will be young. In fact, within the next decade, the region will be home to around a quarter of the global population aged 24 and younger.

“To capitalize on its youthful populace and boost economic growth across the region there will need to be strong and sustainable job creation to match the demographic boom,” says on report from Quartz. It mentions that between the year 2000 and 2008, Africa created 73 million jobs, but only 16 million of those opportunities landed in the hands of young people.

Entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals and young people working in family-owned businesses currently form the majority of workers in the region.

Three out of five unemployed people in Africa is a young adult.

Despite the availability of a growing labour force in the region a World Bank report notes that about 66 per cent of all young workers in the sub-Saharan labor market lack the basic skills needed to be competitive. As such, the World Bank has urged regional governments to invest in the education of their youth.

These sentiments come at a time when unemployment rates for graduates are disturbingly high, especially in Kenya, where it can take up to five years for a graduate to find relevant employment.

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