Learning from social enterprises: How to solve youth unemployment in Africa

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The issues that are the most pressing today will shape the legacies of the most powerful African political and business leaders of our time.

For the continent, the youth population boom and issues of employment are at the top of the list of priorities. Leaders at national, continental and global levels discuss these topics in the halls of the United Nations, the African Union and within talent-strapped businesses operating in the region. When it comes to the political and economic agendas of a continent dubbed “the most youthful” and projected to become the home of half of the world’s youth population by 2040, the “youth bulge” and the unemployment statistics inform the entire dialogue. Clearly, there is need for urgency, action and collaboration to create sustainable impact on a large scale.

Nonetheless, many of these conversations among leaders continue to emphasize the magnitude of the problem or present similar sets of solutions: national tax incentives, “create-a-job-for-each-young-person” schemes, and skills training to increase employability. They overlook opportunities for experimentation to catalyze innovation, which turn issues upside down and question key assumptions: How should we define (redefine) what a “job” is in 21st century Africa? How is the system of education or employment limiting the learning and working mindsets of youth?”

Read more at Devex

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