"Transforming young people from Subject to Citizen"
By empowering youth in two primary ways, the AAYMCA is helping young people achieve alternative wealth creation for their communities and themselves. First, we educate them on economic realities and the mechanisms that create poverty. Second, we equip them with knowledge to identify and access new opportunities and help them acquire entrepreneurial skills.
The Youth bulge is one of Africa’s greatest assets if well harnessed. According to World Bank report the youth population in Africa is expected to double to over 830 million by 2050. This increase in the working age population could support increased productivity and stronger, more inclusive economic growth across the continent. But today, the majority of youth in Africa do not have stable economic opportunities. Of Africa’s nearly 420 million youth aged 15-35, one-third are unemployed and discouraged, another third are vulnerably employed, and only one in six is in wage employment.
Youth face roughly double the unemployment rate of adults, with significant variation by country. The problem is not just unemployment but underemployment, which peaks at just over half of youth in the labour force in low income countries. While 10 to 12 million youth enter the workforce each year, only 3.1 million jobs are created, leaving vast numbers of youth unemployed. The consequences of youth unemployment in Africa are pervasive and severe: unemployment translates to poorer living conditions, fuels migration out of Africa, and contributes to conflict on the continent itself. Above all, youth unemployment constitutes a failure to capitalize on one of the continent’s greatest assets for growth: its large and grow-
ing population of talented young people.
There is therefore an urgent need to create opportunities for youth, with tremendous potential impact. Addressing the multi-faceted causes of youth unemployment on the continent will help drive inclusive economic growth, turning Africa’s demographic dividend into an economic one. The majority of youth that are employed are engaged in the informal sector, which presents its own challenges. The lack of wage jobs pushes youth into the informal sector, estimated to account for nearly 80% of jobs in some countries. Youth and women are even more likely than other groups to be employed in the informal sector.
90% of Africa’s youth live in low and lower-middle income countries and the biggest challenge they face is the lack of formal jobs. In these countries, 10 to 15% of youth labour force participants find wage employment, while 30-50% are vulnerably employed. In contrast, upper middle income countries such as Algeria and South Africa have higher wage employment and lower vulnerable employment, but high overall unemployment rates, with almost one in every five youth unemployed.
The YMCA Youth Economic Renaissance Model
We harness youth skills, talents and desires and align them to labour market gaps by embedding our approach through owned platforms or in partnership with like-minded organisations.