Eleven million youth are expected to enter Africa?s labour market every year for the next decade, a new World Bank report said January 27, 2014.
With more than half of Sub-Saharan Africa?s population now under the age of 25, the World Bank noted creating millions of productive, well-paying jobs will be vital to boost economic growth, significantly cut poverty, and create shared prosperity in Africa.
The regional report, ?Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa?, highlighted that close to 80% of the workforce will continue to work on small farms and in household businesses in the near future.
?While the modern wage sector is growing very fast in some countries, it cannot create enough jobs to meet the youth employment challenge now preoccupying governments in every corner of the continent,? the report said.
The World Bank reported that manufacturing, services, and agriculture are traditionally labour-intensive sectors that can generate productive work for Africa?s youth.
As widely known, many African economies have registered impressive economic growth in recent years but poverty levels across the region have not fallen as much as expected and the report observed that young people looking for better-paying work have been at a great disadvantage.
The report partly blamed many African countries for relying heavily on oil, gas, and mineral extraction which boosts economic growth but does little to create new jobs for the region?s fast-growing youth population or reduce overall rates of poverty.
?Attracting investment into large enterprises that create wage jobs in the mainstream ?formal? economy is critical, but it is only part of the solution to Africa?s youth employment challenge,? said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa.
He adds ?For the millions of young people who are just surviving in the hidden ?informal? sector, they will need greater access to land, skills training, and credit to thrive?.
This, Mr Diop, believes will be a game-changer for small farmers and entrepreneurs who will prosper as African economies grow, in close.
By Ekow Quandzie/GBN