ver 350 stakeholders converge on Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt to participate in the 2019 African Economic Conference with this year’s focus on jobs, skills and capacity development for Africa’s youth.
The African Economic Conference 2019 brings together researchers, youth representatives, business leaders, policymakers and media representatives from Africa and around the world to develop policies and strategies that can promote inclusive growth and job creation in the region.
The second day of the African Economic Conference 2019 exploring ways to create jobs for Africa’s youth focused on the youth skills gap issue across the continent. It is hosted by the African Development Bank in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
The under-skilled youth represented 28.9 percent of Africa’s population, more than double the 13 percent recorded in other developing regions, as revealed by the senior researcher at the African Development Bank, Adamon Mukasa. In education, around 8.3 percent of youth had reached tertiary education versus 20.6 percent of their peers in other developing regions. More than half, around 56.9 percent, received basic to secondary education only, compared to 36.4 percent in other parts of the developing world. This mismatch impacts earnings, job satisfaction and job stability, he added.
Adamon Mukasa adviced giving more prominence to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the education system, to help build skills and knowledge youth need to enter the labor market at a higher level.
An Ethiopian assistant professor at the University of Gondar, Essa Chanie Mussa zeroed in on the issue of youth employment in farming jobs in southwestern Ethiopia. He highlighted several factors that continue to drive youth away from farming, a main resource in southwestern Ethiopia, towards cities, centered on their attitudes to farming. He said 51.2 percent of youth had negative perceptions about farming.