In Nigeria, there are currently only 11 million people between ages 15-34 who are employed, this is a huge challenge as Nigeria is currently the most populous country in Africa. The absence of sustainable and high-quality jobs makes it such that the ever-increasing youth population is unable to join the labour force. This has ripple effects – from idle youth to a reduction in IGR for state and local governments.
This presents a myriad of challenges for both the public and private sectors as we think of the different ways to harness the demographic dividend that is incoming across the continent. Issues around how to address the supply constraints of labour and ensuring employability remain abound on the continent. As Africa’s youth continues to grow in both rural and urban areas, this presents a unique and exciting opportunity for policy makers and the private sector to create innovative solutions to addressing unemployment while taking steps to build the workforce of the future.
At the recently concluded In-person Consultative Meeting on Jobs Creation Campaign in collaboration with The ONE Campaign, it presented the TEF team the opportunity to brainstorm on ways job creation can be accomplished and to highlight the different ways our Entrepreneurship Programme supports in pipelining high flying entrepreneurs who in turn through their various businesses are creating jobs and working to empower members of their communities.
To create solutions to solve unemployment, a multi sectoral approach must be taken, with the recognition that all stakeholders must play an active role. With the AFCFTA on the horizon, policy makers must ensure that they are creating enabling business environments for businesses to thrive in a catalytic way that ensures sustainability, growth and purchasing and hiring power.
Policy makers must continue working towards ensuring that the right business environment exists for businesses to thrive and stay afloat. Across all levels of education, systems need to be revamped – to meet young people where the demands of our rapidly changing world are taking them.
As the work of the Tony Elumelu Foundation continues to grow and expand, our commitment to increasing the number of economically empowered Africans is renewed. Through our platform, TEFConnect, we are providing Africans with the tools needed to not just run their businesses but to improve their skills for the purpose of job creation and sustenance.
Pictured here with the Policy and Partnerships Officer, Oniye Okolo and Communications Manager, Keside Anosike, who worked on ways to tackle unemployment and think of innovative ways to create new jobs with other key stakeholder.
To create 15 million jobs every year, policy makers across the continent must think of innovative ways to harness our collective demographic dividend. Structural barriers that exist should be addressed and improved governance, infrastructure, and access to finance for businesses must be taken into consideration.