Youth

Morocco: Creating IT Opportunities For Self-Starting Youth | The Youth Cafe

Morocco: Creating IT Opportunities For Self-Starting Youth | The Youth Cafe

BY KACI RACELMA

Soufian El-Kherchi, an intern at Clean Rabat, a small organization in Morocco’s capital, spent most of his days giving information technology support and setting up its network.

Bustling with ideas and plans for the future, Mr. El-Kherchi, a computer science major, looked forward to formal employment after his internship. However, one day he got thinking about starting his own IT business.

The New Face of Farming: Youth Making Agribusiness ‘Cool’ | The Youth CafF

The New Face of Farming: Youth Making Agribusiness ‘Cool’ | The Youth CafF

Botswana’s Mavis Nduchwa, 33, owns an animal feed farm that grows grains and legumes

BY IHUOMA ATANGA

Run a quick Google search on African women making it in business, and you will rarely find a young woman engaged in rural farming. But Mavis Nduchwa has challenged norms by founding and successfully managing a commercial animal feed farm in Botswana.

Africa's Jobless Youth Cast A Shadow Over Economic Growth | The Youth Cafe

Africa's Jobless Youth Cast A Shadow Over Economic Growth | The Youth Cafe

Leaders put job-creation programmes on the front burner

BY KINGSLEY IGHOBOR

African governments are confronting unemployment in many different ways. In Senegal, with 200,000 Senegalese joining the labour market each year, President Macky Sall launched a programme in February 2013 to create 30,000 jobs within a year and possibly 300,000 by 2017. The African Development Bank (AfDB) is financing some of Senegal’s self-employment programmes for youth and women.

Youth & Political Participation | The Youth Cafe

Youth & Political Participation | The Youth Cafe

Youth discontented with politics yet less likely to vie or even vote

BY FRANCK KUWONU

When law enforcement officers rounded up a group of political demonstrators in The Gambia’s capital, Banjul, in December 2016, most of those arrested were young people. They were protesting against The Gambia’s then president Yahya Jammeh’s decision to stay in office after having initially conceded defeat to his electoral opponent, Adama Barrow. Under sustained local and international pressure, he finally relinquished power and went into exile.

Knowledge Economy Appeals To Youth | The Youth Cafe

New educational platforms transfer skills and spur innovation among young people

BY JACOB KUSHNER

Somewhere between the equator and the Kenyan town of Nanyuki, five students sit inside a classroom watching a YouTube video describe how to extract aluminum from bauxite. “Once you see it, it makes it so easy,” exclaims 19-year-old Kenneth Karue.

Two years ago Gakawa Secondary School had no internet access. But thanks to an initiative by Mawingu Networks, a solar-powered internet service provider, rural Kenyan youth are going online for the first time, and with amazing results. High school students like Karue, who didn’t know how to use a keyboard, much less a search engine, are now Googling entry requirements for information technology programmes at Nairobi universities.

Some of these students aspire to careers in Africa’s blossoming information and communications technology (ICT) sector. The World Bank estimated that in 2016, African nations would invest between $155 billion and $180 billion in the ICT sector, accounting for 6%–7% of Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP). But young people say there are major barriers preventing them from finding jobs in the industry.

“We have a lot of young people. But unfortunately they come from neighborhoods that don’t have a lot of opportunities,” says Tim Nderi, the chief executive officer of Mawingu Networks.

Since 2013 Microsoft has invested in Mawingu Networks on the premise that enabling young Africans to access the digital world is the first step towards getting them employed in it.

However, “Do people have access to the internet, and is that access affordable?” asked Microsoft’s Anthony Cook in an interview with Africa Renewal. “As you think about moving towards a knowledge economy, you have to be able to take the bulk of the population with you.”

By October 2016, ten thousand people were using Mawingu’s internet in four different Kenyan counties. And in September, former President Barack Obama lauded Microsoft and Mawingu’s success during his address at the US-Africa Business Forum in Cape Town.

Many African countries have embraced the idea of a knowledge economy, a term coined in the 1960s to describe economies in which the production and use of knowledge are paramount. Academic institutions and companies engaging in research and development are important foundations of such a system. And so are those who apply this knowledge—the programmers developing new software and search engines to use data, and the health workers who use data to improve treatments.

A long way to go

Some African governments have begun employing tech-ready youth in the public sector. In Kenya, where an estimated 5 million youth are unemployed, the Presidential Digital Talent Programme recruited 400 university graduates to work on major projects at different ministries. A $150 million, five-year public-private partnership launched last year by the World Bank set out to help 280,000 unemployed Kenyan youth learn about employment opportunities and undergo employ-ability training.

But elsewhere on the continent, such government initiatives have fallen short. Three years after it began, Innovate Lagos, a 2013 Nigerian government-funded ICT incubator that set out to prepare youth and other entrepreneurs to “drive growth and development through innovation,” no longer even owns the domain name of its website.

Africans have good reason to be hesitant about the idea of their countries’ economies being centered on information technology. “Many of the new jobs that have been created over the past two decades are fundamentally different from the ones that have been lost, and the new jobs tend to favour educated workers over those with less education and skills,” says author Dan Tapscott in the 2014 edition of The Digital Economy, his book about the global ICT industry.

For those preparing for careers in ICT, access to the internet and to education are fundamental prerequisites. Fortunately, in places like Nigeria, cellular internet is becoming eminently affordable.

This article is republished by The Youth Café courtesy of Jacob Kushner, and UN Africa Renewal. Additional input added by Kelvin Kiprotich.

The Hashtag Revolution Gaining Ground | The Youth Cafe

The Hashtag Revolution Gaining Ground | The Youth Cafe

Africa’s millennials are using technology to drive change

BY ELENI MOURDOUKOUTAS

When some 276 teenage girls were kidnapped from their boarding school in northeastern Nigeria in April 2014, Oby Ezekwesili, a civil society activist and former World Bank vice president, was disheartened by the lacklustre response of her government and local television stations.

Speech by H. E. Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor Commissioner, Human Resources, Science and Technology African Union Commission During Opening of the Arab and African Youth Platform | The Youth Cafe

Speech by H. E. Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor Commissioner, Human Resources, Science and Technology African Union Commission During  Opening of the Arab and African Youth Platform | The Youth Cafe

By Prof. Sarah Anyang

THE ROLE OF YOUTH IN AFRICA UNION’S AGENDA FOR 2019 AND OUR LONG TERM AGENDA 2063

Agenda 2063 is the Vision of an integrated, prosperous Africa, driven by its own competent and Skilled citizens able to play in the global arena and has 7 Aspirations. The African union is working towards empowering the role of youth at different arenas in the different departmental mandates. Aspiration six of Agenda 2063 is calling to “An Africa whose development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by people, especially its women and youth and caring for children”. The efforts to support youth empowerment is translated through different decisions in the commission.

Youth Active Participation in Leadership is Powerful Tool of Youth Empowerment and Prosperity | The Youth Cafe

Youth Active Participation in Leadership is Powerful Tool of Youth Empowerment and Prosperity | The Youth Cafe

By martin mutai

One of the ways the youth can be empowered is by them actively being part of the leadership and having their say in decision making. Youth leadership is a subject that has gained traction in recent years. More than before the youths are now embolden, courageous and ready to take leadership and chart a better future for fellow youths and the generations to come. The adage, “youths are the leaders of tomorrow” probably stopped making much sense, when the youths sobered up and endeared to be part of the current leadership rather than waiting longer on side-lines.

Africa, Youth and Supranational Democracy | The Youth Cafe

Africa, Youth and Supranational Democracy | The Youth Cafe

By Susanna Cafaro,

Many people react with suspicion and mistrust when they hear the two words global governanceand even worse when they hear about global laws or global constitutionalism. I can understand them. They are afraid of an authoritarian, elitist system, going to limit the sovereignty of states and communities, to suppress self-determination, to flatten cultural identities. A real nightmare. Paradoxically, this is what happens with globalization in the absence of a global rule of law, what happens right now, when the forces of market and the pressure to competitiveness are left alone to govern processes and outcomes.