"If we fix the youth unemployment challenge, Africa will gain 10-20% annual growth," says AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group intends to create 25 million jobs to benefit 50 million youth over the next 10 years through skills development.

This vision will be implemented through the Presidential Youth Advisory Group (PYAG) that was inaugurated on the side-lines of the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum in Abidjan on Monday.

PYAG comprises nine members under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions to the creation of employment opportunities for African youth.

The PYAG members in no particular order are: Ashish Thakkar, CEO, Mara Group, Uganda (Chair); Uzodinma Iweala, award-winning author, Nigeria; Mamadou Touré, Founder / CEO, Africa 2.0 / Ubuntu Capital, Cameroon; Vanessa Moungar, Director Gender Women and Civil Society Department, Chad ; Francine Muyumba, President, Panafrican Youth Union, Democratic Republic of Congo; Jeremy Johnson, Co-founder, Andela, USA; Clarisse Iribagiza, CEO, Hehe, Rwanda; Ada Osakwe, CEO, Agrolay Ventures, Nigeria; and Monica Musonda, CEO of Java Foods, Zambia.

“This is a huge opportunity for Africa. If we fix the youth unemployment challenge, Africa will gain 10-20% annual growth. That means Africa’s GDP will grow by $500 billion per year for the next 30 years. Africa’s per capita income will rise by 55% every year to the year 2050,” said Adesina.

Youth unemployment rate

Adesina remarked that out of the 13 million youths that enter the labour market each year, only 3 million (about 33% of African youth) are in wage employment, while the rest are underemployed or in vulnerable employment.

The annual gap of more than 8 million jobs is projected to get worse, with the number of youth expected to double to more than 800 million in the next decade.

“Africa has an unemployment crisis among its youth,” he stressed, noting that unless employment opportunities are created for them, Africa’s rapidly growing population of youths can give rise to serious social, economic, political and security challenges.

“Sixty-six million African youths earn less than $2 a day, less than the price of a hamburger,” the Bank President emphasised.

“Sixty-six million is 8 times the population of Switzerland, 6 times the population of Belgium, the same as that of the UK, France or Italy, and 80% of Germany’s population,” he added.

 

Featured image: Stock