Ahead of a new IDS Bulletin entitled ‘Youth Employment and Private Sector Growth in Africa’ out in November 2018 and edited by Dominic Glover, Seife Ayele, Marjoke Oosterom, IDS has published three Policy Briefings which contain important lessons for policymakers concerned with youth employment, post-conflict settings, business and agriculture.
‘Jobs for Ex-Militants in the Niger Delta – Why Isn’t the Private Sector Involved’, by Tarila Marclint Ebiede, explores how after the end of violent conflict countries can more effectively support the reintegration of former combatants into civilian life and employment. Specifically it highlights the need for the Nigerian Government’s to develop a deeper understanding of the private sector to mitigate the risk of rising unemployment and a breakdown of law and order in the Niger Delta.
‘Strengthening Small and Medium Enterprises to Address Youth Unemployment Crisis in Zimbabwe’, by Simbarashe Gukurum, makes key recommendations for government and business to maximise the potential of small and medium businesses (SME’s) to create decent work for Zimbabwe’s youth in a time of great uncertainty. These include providing access to finance for SMEs that commit to employ more young people, and reforming retrogressive legislation.
‘Realising the Potential of Agribusiness to Reduce Youth Unemployment in Ethiopia’ by Tesfamicheal Wossen and Seife Ayele, reports that while agribusiness in Ethiopia has grown significantly in the last 20 years – and this growth is set to continue – there are significant skill and pay gaps. Potential jobs are also being lost because of poor infrastructure and lack of access to suitable land. As Ethiopia moves towards further privatisation, the authors call for government to launch a strategy to create an efficient and competitive agribusiness sector to fuel ‘decent’ job creation for youth.
These three briefings will be expanded upon in the forthcoming Bulletin along with four more articles all written by African researchers with contributions from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Matasa Fellows Network – making youth employment in Africa their priority
These briefings and the Bulletin have been written by members of the Matasa Fellows Network, an initiative that seeks to develop cohorts of young African researchers with the skills and commitment to engage in policy-oriented research around the challenges of young people and employment in Africa. Its aim is to contribute to the development of outstanding young researchers who will ultimately become leaders in their chosen fields.
Like the previous Bulletin written by Matasa Fellows focusing on Africa’s youth employment challenges, the forthcoming Bulletin promises to be a diverse and exciting collection of articles by a group of highly talented, young African scholars.
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Image: ‘ETHIOPIA Bako (Baco). An Indian worker and his Ethiopian colleague stand in front of a tractor on a farm owned by Indian agribusiness company, Kanturi Global Limited. All the farm’s heavy plant has been imported from America. The company owns farms in Kenya and Ethiopia where they produce crops, especially flowers, for export. The acquisition of large tracts of land in Ethiopia is a prelude to a move into more general agricultural production.’ Credit: Petterik Wiggers / Panos.