Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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About 65 per cent of the total population of Africa are below the age of 35 years, and over 35 percent are between the ages of 15 and 35 years, making Africa the most youthful continent on the planet. By 2020 it is projected that out of 4 people, 3 will be on average 20 years old. About 10 million young African youth arrive each year on the labor market.

 While this statistic can be a source of joy to the continent, it can also cause serious concerns. The number one concern to the continent is, "are there at least 10 million jobs being created on a yearly basis on the continent?" If not, then what happens to the careers of the many remaining young people on the continent? What really does the future hold for our careers on the continent?  Challenges stemming from this problem have already begun to present themselves, the greatest challenge so far has been that there are many college graduates on the continent who lack jobs; young people are looking for internships one day after the other, and yet there seems to be not enough.

 What all Africans should know is that their governments are not able to create jobs for every single soul in their countries, however they can put policies in place that can contribute to creation of jobs that will be sufficient for everyone on the continent.

One big concern for every African youth today is the demand for experience while looking for jobs. The candidates are always complaining on where they are expected to get their experiences from while they had never been given the chance to work; the employers also do not want to expand their finances on training young people. This has lead to so many young people getting into different activities to earn some few crumbs for themselves and probably their families.

However, there can be solutions to this great dilemma befalling the continent already. If the governments solicit the youth service programs as it is in Ghana and Nigeria for young graduates, it would bring some experience and exposure to the youth. So with this kind of program, the young graduates would practically know what a company set up looks like and how things are basically done.

Secondly, the governments need to encourage youth entrepreneurship programs; programs that would stir young graduates to start their businesses and contribute to economic growth as well as economic development.

Again, these governments, in partnership with NGOs and probably for profit organizations,  would create systems that can finance young entrepreneurs on the continent. These can also look for ready markets for these young people, which would actually make business flow in the country and life would be made easy.
Finally policies upon which businesses operate on the continent should be so flexible that they can either create employment to the population and/or pen other opportunities for the creation of other businesses on the continent.

African youth are a great blessing to the continent and with very good investments in finances, in education and in time, and in our minds, they shall bring very good, abundant results to the continent.


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