The Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie has said that population growth, irrespective of the country, cannot eradicate poverty in a sustainable manner unless decent job opportunities are created for young men and women.
The unemployment rate for the continent as whole remains approximately at 8.0 percent in 2016-2017, which when applied to a rapidly growing labor force, corresponds to an increase in total unemployment of 1.2 million from 2016 to 2017.
The Professor noted a similar trend is observed with regards to vulnerable employment, with a slight decrease in the rate but an increase in the number of workers.
Nnadozie said that to eradicate high levels of unemployment, the recognition of the social consequences of unemployment must first be addressed.
Through this, he said the potential of social and political instability, which is often linked to lack of decent job opportunities can be addressed as well.
Prof. Nnadozie made this known, speaking at the 5th African Think Thank Summit in Accra.
‘’Evidence shows that across Africa, the youth are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.’’
He said the African Development Bank has estimated that half of all the youth are either unemployed or inactive, while 35 percent are in vulnerable jobs.
‘’A big concern and paradox is that the youth unemployment rate is increasing amidst the level of education and, for instance, youth with tertiary education are two to three times more likely to have decent jobs than the youth with primary education or less.’’
The professor indicated that Africa’s educational systems are not adequately preparing people enough for the labor market.
He added there’s are looming mismatch between education, job skills and the lack of experience.
‘’The lack of entrepreneurial skills is also a limiting factor while the availability of capital for the youth to exploit business opportunities that can generate decent employment and growth remains a bottleneck,’’ he said.
Professor Nnadozie noted that sustainable policies, funding measures and strategies that support the establishment of business enterprises and youth training must be implemented to create decent jobs and develop entrepreneurial skills.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah