Unemployment in Africa: No Jobs for 50% of Graduates

Almost half of the 10 million graduates churned out of the over 668 universities in Africa yearly do not get job, Kelvin Balogun – President of Coca-Cola, Central, East and West Africa – has said.

By The Stage Africa

Speaking at this year’s Africa Transformation Forum in Kigali, he said it is time the private sector works with governments to bring this canker to an end, saying: “We need to build our human capital to bring about the development of Africa.

“Unemployment is a general problem in Africa and there must be a partnership between governments and the private sector to address it.

“At Coca-Cola we realised that most of the labour is not very competent, but we pick them and retrain them,” he said

“Almost half of the 10 million graduates churned out of the over 668 universities in Africa yearly do not get job, Kelvin Balogun – President of Coca-Cola, Central, East and West Africa – has said.”

Mr. Balogun urged corporate bodies to employ and retrain graduates to fit their job standards, so as to reduce growing unemployment on the continent.

He said like other corporate bodies, Coca Cola has a role to play as the company employs about 70,000 Africans and has programmes to train and recruit interns every year.

Experts have argued that youth unemployment and underemployment are among the main barriers to development in West Africa.

They said not only does the exclusion of young people from the labour force perpetuate generational cycles of poverty, it also breaks down social cohesion and can be associated with higher levels of crime and violence among idle youth.

According to data from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in sub-Saharan Africa, the youth unemployment rate hovers around 12 percent. While this is slightly lower than the global youth unemployment rate of 12.4 percent, the African region has the world’s highest rate of working poverty — people who are employed but earning less than US$2 a day.

Despite being Africa’s most educated generation to emerge from schools and universities, a youth in Africa is twice as likely to be unemployed when he/she becomes an adult, ILO said.

Africa has the largest “youth bulge” in the world, and the number of youth is expected to grow by 42.5 million between 2010 and 2020, says the World Bank.

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