The President, African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has launched the Presidential Youth Advisory Group (PYAG), an initiative that is expected to create about 25 million jobs.
PYAG, launched on the side-lines of the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum in Abidjan, would provide insights and innovative solutions for job creation for Africa’s youth as outlined in the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy (JfYA).
The jobs for Youth in Africa initiative aims to benefit 50 million youth over the next 10 years by equipping them with the right skills to get decent and meaningful jobs.
“It is currently the largest effort going on for youth employment in Africa.
“This is a huge opportunity for Africa. If we fix the youth unemployment challenge, Africa will gain 10-20% annual growth.
“That means Africa’s GDP will grow by $500 billion per year for the next 30 years.’’
He said Africa’s per capita income would rise by 55 percent every year to the year 2050.
Adesina, who identified Africa’s greatest asset as its youth, observed that out of the 13 million youths that enter the labour market each year, only 3 million (about 33% of African youth) are in wage employment.
The rest, he said were underemployed or in vulnerable employment.
“The annual gap of more than 8 million jobs is going to worsen, with the number of youth expected to double to more than 800 million in the next decades.
“Africa has an unemployment crisis among its youth,” he stressed.
He noted that unless employment opportunities are created for them, Africa’s rapidly growing population of youths can give rise to serious social, economic, political and security challenges.
Africa’s youths, though strong and dynamic, cross the desert or the Mediterranean Sea because they do not find decent jobs in Africa.
“Graduates are wandering in the streets, jobless. The low level of employment opportunities is also fueling violence and extremism in Africa.
“Forty percent of African youths engaged in armed violence join gangs or terrorist groups because of limited opportunities in their countries,” Adesina said.
“Sixty-six million African youths earn less than $2 a day, less than the price of a hamburger,” the Bank President emphasized.