Africa: Harnessing the youth population – a demographic dividend

Africa is the youngest continent in the world: 65% of its total population falls between the ages of 18 and 35. Given this situation, African nations need to ensure that its youths are educated, employed and enabled to participate meaningfully in economic, political and policy developments.

Unemployment across Africa is unacceptably high, especially among young people. To increase the supply of skilled workers, select African and BRICS universities should work on collaborating and, possibly, signing a memorandum of understanding to ensure skills development.

Much criticism has been directed at China for bringing its own citizens to work on projects in Africa – but China has attributed doing so to the lack of sufficient skills on the continent, particularly a gap in senior positions.

This outreach comes at an opportune moment as the BRICS summit focuses on the fourth industrial revolution as part of its agenda. Digitisation and e-commerce have proved invaluable for entrepreneurs in Africa. Anand Sharma, India’s former minister of commerce and industry, noted that Africa cannot afford to be left behind when it comes to technological advances.

Countries like China have made significant strides in e-commerce, thanks to multinationals such as the Alibaba Group, GALLO

Find Full Article in BRICS Journal print Issue 6

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