Matasa Fellows Network

In April 2016 The Mastercard Foundation and Institute of Development Studies joined forces to launch The Matasa Fellows Network.

This exciting initiative sought to develop a cohort 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. To kick-start the Network, ten fellowships were awarded in Spring 2016.

Each Matasa Fellow is producing a high-quality synthesis paper and related policy brief. The synthesis papers have now been published in two issues of the IDS Bulletin: Youth Employment and the Private Sector in Africa and Africa’s Youth Employment Challenge: New Perspectives

Africa’s Youth Employment Challenge: New Perspectives

Matasa Fellows discuss how the private sector can create employment opportunities for African youth

The African youth employment challenge is…

In this short film the Matasa Fellows outline their perspectives on the African youth employment challenge.

How the Network is making a difference

In this short film, some of the Matasa Fellows explain how the Network is supporting them.

Project details

start date
4 April 2016
end date
2 January 2017


About this project

Africa Kenya


Image of Marjoke Oosterom
Marjoke Oosterom

Research Fellow

Image of Martin Gardner
Martin Gardner

Project Support Officer

Image of Seife Ayele
Seife Ayele

Research Fellow

Recent work

Journal Article

Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship: The Role of Mentoring

IDS Bulletin 48.3

The risks and rewards associated with mentoring young people for entrepreneurship are attracting growing attention among policymakers, development organisations and scholars. This article examines entrepreneurship mentoring relationships from the perspective of young people. Based on the model...

Ayodele Ibrahim Shittu

20 August 2019


How Should Uganda’s National Youth Policy Be Redesigned?

IDS Policy Briefing;161

In Uganda 25.5 per cent of the young population are either unemployed or underemployed. The agricultural sector is the country’s economic backbone with capacity to provide jobs for young people. Uganda’s National Youth Policy (NYP) launched in 2001 to support young people in developing...

17 December 2018


Stimulating Agribusiness Entrepreneurship to Solve Youth Unemployment in Kenya

IDS Policy Briefing;158

More than one million Kenyan youth enter the labour market every year, yet many young people struggle to find jobs in the manufacturing and service sectors. Currently, the transition rate from secondary to further education is very low and means many young people are leaving school with only...

3 December 2018


Youth Employment and the Private Sector in Africa

IDS Bulletin 49.5

Globally, governments, development agencies, and inter-governmental institutions have invested heavily in skills-building interventions seeking to enhance the employability of youths. However, policy actors are becoming more aware of the shortcomings of skills-building interventions, and...

Image of Seife Ayele
Seife Ayele & 5 others

28 November 2018


Tackle underemployment AND unemployment in Africa argues IDS Bulletin

As 12 million young people enter the African labour force each year, there are only 3 million new jobs for them (pdf). The major challenge is not just about creating enough jobs for them, but on creating ‘decent’ jobs, argues the new IDS bulletin. https://youtu.be/Lb-xvl7DUhg The...

28 November 2018


A network of young African scholars for sustainable development

Addressing Africa’s sustainable development challenges, including job creation for the continent’s burgeoning youth population, means preparing young African professionals for future roles as development leaders and change agents. Launching today is the IDS Bulletin on “Youth Employment...

Image of Seife Ayele
Seife Ayele & 3 others

28 November 2018