Can Digital Jobs Solve Africa's Unemployment Crisis?
IDS Rapid Response Briefing 13
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Africa has the youngest population in the world, with 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, a figure projected to double by 2045. As young people look to enter the workforce in Africa many are likely to face unemployment or underemployment, suffering from unsafe, insecure, part-time, poorly paid work.
Industry analysts, government ministers and donors alike see information technology as contributing to African growth and as a major opportunity for employment for young people in the future. For this to become a reality and not a mirage, there are many challenges that must be overcome, including developing skills to create African digital jobs that design and engineer solutions rather than simply servicing the lower-skilled delivery end of the global digital market. Countries will also need to build on their existing capabilities to respond to and create digital demand, and find other ways of dealing with the discrepancy between record high numbers of job market entrants versus likely rates of new job creation.