AfDB Moves To Combat Africa’s Unemployment Crisis


order geneva;”>information pills sans-serif;”>Through its paper titled ‘Accelerating the AfDB’s Response to the Youth Unemployment Crisis in Africa’ AfDB publication takes stock of the challenges and responses to youth employment in Africa.

The bank proposes a framework to address the crisis as well as the structural needs of the African labor markets.

A recent report by UN reveals that many children face barriers to education. These threats can be against children, teachers, education personnel and carried out for political, religious or criminal reasons.

According to Mr. Marlon Agaba, the Programme Officer – Information and Policy Advocacy ANPPCAN-Uganda Chapter, the quality of education in Uganda is poor.

“The education sector faces a lot of challenges ranging from poor infrastructure, under staffing, lack of teaching and learning materials, and teacher absenteeism,” he said.

He noted that these challenges in the education sector including lack of fees and other educational opportunities coupled with the type of education has rendered the youth unemployable leaving many frustrated.

However the existing policies and educational programs continue focusing on creating job seekers and not job creators.

It is estimated that the youth constitute about 29 percent of the 21.6 million estimated Uganda’s population. Of these, females constitute 53 percent and males 47 percent, most of which live in rural areas.

The National Youth Policy report, entitled a Vision for Youth in the 21st Century, Lost Opportunity2001 notes that; “12 per cent of youth are chronically poor and 62 per cent are unemployed and the majority are located in urban centers.

However, AfDB’s paper lays the ground for a joint AfDB- AU-ECA-ILO initiative to support countries to address the growing youth unemployment crisis in Africa.

Mr Donald Kaberuka, President AfDB says Africa’s exploding youth population represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the continent. “Strong economic growth has not translated in the amount of good quality jobs needed to absorb the 11-12 million young Africans entering the labor market every day.”

He noted that the continent’s youth population boom also holds the kind of potential demographic dividend that benefitted East Asian economies – triggering economic growth.

“But this will only happen if African countries can provide quality jobs, equity and inclusiveness in economic growth for their expanding populations,” he said.

This paper examines the roots of the youth unemployment crisis. It looks at the factors affecting the demand for labor in both the formal and informal sectors and those affecting the supply of labor, such as illiteracy and the mismatch between the education and skills needed and those provided to young people.

In setting out the AfDB’s response, this paper proposes both immediate and longer-term actions to tackle the constraints of the demand and supply of labor in Africa and calls for a regional partnership initiative to review, share and promote best practices in higher education policies on the continent.


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