Youth unemployment in Africa, whom to blame?



Do the African governments establish any national plans to confront the economic crisis facing their youth? Are Africans in Diaspora a forgotten element of the African economic development?

Who should be blamed? The foreign colonization? The African governments? Or the youth themselves?

One of the biggest challenges facing governments in Africa is providing employment opportunities for more than 200 million young people so that they can have decent lives and contribute to the social and economic development of their countries.

Actually Africa has the fastest population growth predictable between now and 2050 and the youngest population in the world. It is decisive that governments react towards this youth growth into national and social development planning.

Youth employment challenges in Africa are most of the time perceived as a result of rapid population growth rates, and then it becomes hard to control and to correspond to all the needs. Actually, it is not the numbers of young people that has led unemployment, but lack of specific structural strategic planning where it should meet the needs of every individual country. It is not possible to apply the same plan confrontation of economic problems to all African countries, since every country has its specific characteristics and needs, African governments need to inspire from example models but implement it within the conditions and the priorities of their home countries.

It is true that a growing youth population is a challenge for Africa today, but it cannot be the reason behind the unemployment figures in Africa. These figures are largely the results of specific economic and political behaviors. Like for example: lack of investments in infrastructure and enhancing sectors with potential for creating jobs, lack of evaluating and developing policies on economic growth in Africa, lack of investing in rural areas and rural youth.

One of the biggest losses of Africa today, is the lack of communicating and investing in youth in the Diaspora, youth Diaspora is outstandingly situated to contribute to boosting the economic growth and prosperity in Africa, and they bring a unique point of views to the discourse on Africa because they have experienced both worlds. They often choose to stay in their host countries because of the lack of not only investing on them, but also lack of decent jobs and complexity of procedures to implement their projects that would lead to economic growth, which in the other hand easier in their host countries, by that Africa loses a rich contributor element and call for professional foreign help.

Levels of education in Africa are moderately low creating a suitable skills gap among youth at working age. This generates lack of skills meeting the needs of the job market.

Though young people today are better educated than their parents, they remain about twice as likely to be unemployed than their elders. This is partially because of a divergence between their skills and what the work market is seeking for.

The African Development Bank estimated that 25% of African youths are still illiterate and even though a rise in primary school enrolment, the lack of skills levels in the workforce will continue to be a crucial problem facing Africa, unless African governments start to develop educational strategy that meet the job market.

In fact, there are some initiatives launched to confront this issue, for example in Senegal, there is an initiative called the Agence d’Exécution des Travaux d’Intéret Public, where unemployed youth are trained before getting permanent jobs. In Burkina Faso, through a project, student attend school and at the same time work as trainee to learn industry specific skills.

Nonetheless, with increasing numbers of youth population, these few initiatives aren’t able enough to face the unemployment issue and the difficulties that come with it.

We often hear that the lack of development in Africa is due to the colonization effects, well many countries of the world have been colonized but moved on, including developing countries, sometimes I think Africans are colonized in their minds when they keep holding the idea of blaming the current situation on history colonization even though there might be an effect, but our concern is to find out solutions and to move forward, make a development not as a desire but as an action. Africans need to look on the future and stop looking back on the past.

The relationship between population and youth unemployment is very complicated. As populations increase, concentrated efforts are needed to be done to avoid the youth exclusion from work market and lack of economic growth. To do this, African countries need to address the economic growth issues through transformative economic and social policies.

It is our duties as individual as well to find solutions, to contribute in an innovative way to develop our communities and countries, it always starts with oneself.



12 thoughts on “Youth unemployment in Africa, whom to blame?

  1. I will blame ourself since we know too well that africans government can never be or acts like the forieng government we can not just fold our hand and leg keep waiting for our government to do something as they normaly say no food for the lazy man, i think to myself and realise that time wait for nobody if you can see that in africa mostly nigeria by finishing the university did make sense in nigeria, many graduate is at home doing nothing, the only few jobs we have in nigeria those in the office that surpose to retire for the young once to take place they will refuse waiting for their children that have no expirience to take their place in the office, which is corruption, that while we need to focus on our government their rate of corruption is so high beyond our imagination.


  2. Vincent Guga Okoth

    I would partly blame the governments and the youths. This is because the governments have failed to create awareness that will help the youth engage in meaningful activities. The governments too are instruments of power; the channels through which youths can get incentives necessary in enabling us do businesses. Corruptions in governments have always seen the old and the mighty get huge tenders leaving us with nothing. Youths too are to blame. We have accepted bullies and have even taken them to parliaments to pass laws that only benefit them. Youths only believe in handouts. We don’t believe in our capabilities. We have great minds that can enable us seek grants and cheap loans that can enable us start meaningful businesses than engaging in criminal activities. We have seen very young minds die because of avoidable inefficiencies.
    My advice to youths is that we need to redefine destiny. We are more homogenous in our contemporary world today than any other thing. The power of our votes can change a lot in our societies. We need to stop being cheated that if we get handouts life can be better. It’s never easy getting what you haven’t worked for. Cheap is and will always be expensive.


  3. In such thing like these, two rat can not be blame at a time, not all youth are youth that is ready to change their life for good, that while bible said many are call but only few are chosen.


  4. Renz

    The mistakes of the past, help us to correct the operations at present while preparing for a better tomorrow. Since all the actors above have a share of the Blame, i suggest the youths develop skills to curb this problem with the hope to contribute in building nations.


  5. Love your blog! I do think and write arround these subjects as well: Looking forwards to meeting you one of these days to share more thoughts through discussions and collaboration.



    I have firstly appreciated this blog, i think it’s a time now to have a look in Calamities, problems and weaknesses facing a big number of African youths with jobless.

    Therefore, by just giving the youths themselves opportunities to express their thoughts and ideas through existing media like Tv, Radio, newspapers without forgetting the use of internet, it might help for the government and other non government institutions on how youths can be easily assisted.

    Secondly… The government itself from a particular country should formulate best ways how youths can simply rise their dissatisfactions and complains comfortably.
    Giving extra education like knowledge on the use of internet, free entrepreneurship education should be provide.

    In additional to that.. our African leaders and Government in general, they ought to understand their challenges of satisfying their citizens and learn from developed countries like The USA, GERMANY, CHINA and others which i can’t mention all of them on how they lead and provide services to their citizens tough unemployment is a global problem But in Africa It’s too much.

    Lastly, African Governments and their citizen should give each other good cooperation through the representatives or opened public meetings.
    For instance here in Tanzania (Africa) most of the leaders are selfish, misuser of authoritie, corruption facilitating persons where by they’re their in leadership for benefits of their families.

    All in all, unemployment issue is not only in African countries… absolutely not at all… It’s all over the world according to my understandin.
    So what is to do… As African youths we don’t need or depend on our Governments while our problems are known well and every one pretends as S/he don’t know.
    Let’s use what we have whether It’s tallent, creativity or business skills to rescue ourselves.
    our dreams may turn into realities if we stand on strongly and pay attention.
    I hope everything can be possible under the sun as they say ” it’s possible to possiblize the impossible to be possible ”

    On me onwards i always comfort myself as ” if others can do why not me”
    Stay still,follow the right path, believe in yourself, never engage yourself in peer groups, robbers, terrorism, gay or drugs taker.. i hate these shits… Never give up my African Boy and girl til the last point.


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