Tackling Africa's "Unemployable" Challenge

9/29/2015
World Policy Blog

Each year, hundreds of thousands of graduates join a growing pool of unemployed and often unemployable young men and women in Nigeria. It is the greatest challenge of our era: creating jobs for the largest segment of our population.

We know that the youth make up 65 percent of Africa’s population. What we, as a society, often forget is that they make up a higher percentage of the unemployed.

Creating jobs, promoting entrepreneurship, and advocating for more appropriate tertiary education are key solutions. But these are not enough.

None of these address an increasingly urgent problem: Africa’s “unemployable” youth. These are young people whose families have scraped and saved their meager income to invest in education with the hope of a better future. These are young people who have earned qualifications despite extreme hardship. But, these are also young people who are not “work-fit”. Many of them are ready to earn but not ready to work.

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