On youth employment

Friday, November 02, 2018

One of the greatest challenges facing governments and policymakers in Africa today is how to provide opportunities for the continent’s more than 200 million youths so that they can have decent lives and contribute to the economic development of their countries. Africa’s population according to analysts is projected to double by 2050. Africa is the youngest continent in the world- as about 70 percent of its population is 30 years of age or younger. Yet, many of them are mired in poverty, vulnerable to abuse and living in circumstances that violate their human rights.

Leaders should understand that investing in this teeming mass of the population is the only way forward so as to boost national economies. We know that rising unemployment rate among the youth is a challenge confronting many governments globally.

For instance GYIN-Gambia is a youth inspired and youth led network for youth entrepreneurs and rural micro-enterprises, which is committed to acting as hunger fighter, change agent, and innovator, driven by the passion to see generational transformations and changes from the grassroots to the global level. The network creates an environment to support youth in development and empowerment programmes through the following objectives training of youth leaders capable of creating sustainable businesses that are more resilient to climate change, environmental degradation, and market transformation among a host of others.

So this network if supported would help a great deal in horning the skills of many Gambian youths. At a recent local trade fair, GYIN Gambia’s executive director, Mamadou Edrissa Njie called on development partners and donor agencies to invest a funding package of $15 million to enable his organisation realise its innovative ideas of creating 70,000 direct and indirect jobs for the youth.

However, the challenges youth faced in The Gambia as in most part of Africa are numerous and varied. Again, these challenges differ among groups within countries by gender, education level, ethnicity and health status.

Organisations like GYIN should be supported if the country is to make gains, as rural transformation is an effective way to overcome poverty, food security and job opportunities through the value chain. This will also enable communities build partnerships to facilitate the transformation of smallholder farmers.

“The youth need to be enabled to become job generators from job seekers.”

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam