A Swiss registered foundation aiming at promoting job creation for African youth


Jobs for Africa is a Swiss registered foundation whose main objective is to promote job creation, skills development and employability for the youth in Africa. In recognition of the facts that the private sector is the creator of jobs and that governments provide an enabling environment for enterprises to be created and developed, Jobs for Africa seeks to promote private-public partnerships on youth employment.

The youth employment challenge in Africa

18 million young people enter the job market each year in Africa, but only 3 million jobs are created. Seventy per cent of Africans are aged less than 25 years, making Africa the youngest continent in the world. 420 million Africans are aged between 15 and 35 years old. This number will double in 2050. 550 million Africans are of working age. This figure will reach 1 billion in 2050 overtaking China and India.

African countries have witnessed tremendous economic growth in the last two decades, averaging between six and seven per cent. Some countries like Ethiopia and Ivory Coast have even experienced double-digit growth rates, making Africa the second fastest growing continent after Asia. However, this growth story has not translated into enough jobs in the formal sector to absorb the millions entering the job market each year. It is for this reason that African countries are grappling with youth unemployment. In North Africa for example, countries have a high number of university graduates who cannot find jobs. The big challenge is to make the African growth story more inclusive.

The current situation has forced young people in Africa to look for alternative ways of earning their livelihoods. We have witnessed cases of young people embarking on perilous journeys to look for opportunities in Europe, with a number of them dying in the Mediterranean. According to the IOM, there were 5143 deaths in 2016 alone, the highest number recorded so far. We have also seen some young people joining extreme groups thus becoming a security risk in Central, West and Eastern Africa.

Africa’s youth needs not fall prey to such desperation because of unemployment. The continent has a lot of unexploited potential. In addition to the remarkable economic dynamism over the last two decades, the youthful population represents an opportunity, which can be transformed into a demographic, dividend to create growth and economic wealth if well harnessed.

We have witnessed the remarkable development of information and communication technologies with youth leading the digital transformation of the continent with smart phones. Moreover, Africa has more than 60% of the world’s arable land for the development of its agriculture, enough to feed its people and the world. Africa is also blessed with significant natural and mineral resources with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Botswana and the Republic of Guinea often referred to a geological scandals.

Lastly, the growing middle class and the high level of urbanization provide opportunities for investments in job rich sectors such as tourism, retail and service sectors. Jobs for Africa Foundation seeks to take advantage of these opportunities in order to give hope to Africa’s youth.