Dr Reshma Sheoraj, Vice-President of Strategic Engagements, World Data Lab, chatting with some participants after the launch
Dr Reshma Sheoraj, Vice-President of Strategic Engagements, World Data Lab, chatting with some participants after the launch

Tool to monitor youth job growth in Africa launched

The World Data Lab, in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, has launched a digital tool to monitor youth job growth and forecast employment trends in Africa.

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Dubbed: “Africa Youth Employment Clock”, it aims to support and inform the journey to more inclusive African labour markets through cutting-edge data modelling and visualisation.

The job data model projects youth employment trends in Africa, disaggregated by key variables such as status of employment, age, gender, and sector up to 2030. According to the World Data Lab projections, Africa would experience its highest-ever youth population growth of over 130 million in the decade of 2021 to 2030.

Against this backdrop, enabling dignified and fulfilling jobs for Africa’s youth is more important today than ever.

Accessible online at africayouthjobs.io, the Clock is intended to inform the strategic decision-making of policymakers, development actors and other stakeholders in all 54 African states, as well as sub-national data for Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya.

Access to sub-national data would be expanded, over time, to cover other parts of Africa, particularly countries where the Mastercard Foundation operates. 

Labour market insights

At the launch in Accra, the Country Director for Mastercard Foundation, Ghana, Rica Rwigamba, said the Clock aligned with the Foundation’s mission of enabling 30 million young Africans to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

“As we witness unparalleled growth in the continent’s youth population this decade, we recognise young women and men of Africa as the dynamic workforce and leaders capable of solving local and global problems.  

“This tool will be vital in delivering precise labour market insights to support youth empowerment efforts and refining our focus on programmes for those most in need,” Ms Rwigamba said.  

Youth growth rate

The Vice-President, Strategic Engagements, World Data Lab, Dr Reshma Sheoraj, explained that in 2023, two out of 10 youths worldwide were African.  She said by 2030, Africa would have quarter of the global youth population, adding that, in 2100, four out of 10 youth worldwide would be African.  

She noted that all regions of Africa had significantly higher youth growth rates, with six countries alone accounting for more than 50 per cent of all youth population added from 2023-2030. 

Addressing youth unemployment

For her part, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Ghana, Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, said the Clock would help address the challenge of youth unemployment which had persistently plagued the African continent.  

She added that the novel tool would contribute to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 8) which emphasised decent work and economic growth.  

This, she said, would have direct bearing on SDG 1 No poverty, SDG 2 Zero hunger, SDG 3 Good health and well-being, and SDG 4 Quality education. She added that economic development and poverty eradication under Agenda 2063, which was “The Africa We Want”, as well as Ghana’s “Vision 2057” launched by the National Development Planning Commission, would all be accelerated through the Africa Youth Employment Clock.  

“It is evident that all these beautiful aspirations will remain mere blueprints if they are not actioned, monitored and evaluated. This certainly calls for data-driven decision making and actions,” Prof. Amfo said.

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