According to The Guardian, “youth unemployment is a global issue,” as young people account for approximately 40 percent of the world’s unemployed. Of note, 90 percent of this demographic live in developing countries, such as South Africa.
Not surprisingly, one of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals seeks to address this global issue by “substantially [reducing] the proportion of youth not in employment, education, or training” by 2020.
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have already started to make a difference for unemployed youth in South Africa, where the youth unemployment rate stands at a staggering 50 percent. PPPs are working to provide young workers with government funded education, internship opportunities and technical services.
PPPs run projects between the private sector and the government, nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and the private sector, or a combination of all three.
Zambian Youth Benefit
In Zambia for example, a PPP comprised of Unicef, Barclays and the Zambian government provided free courses focused on enterprise, entrepreneurship and communication skills.
According to The Guardian, Ernest Daka, a 22-year-old Zambian unemployed youth turned entrepreneur, credits a business and financial literacy course offered by this PPP as his motivation to become a self-starter.
Daka learned how to apply for a startup loan from a microfinance institution to purchase 50 chicks, a chicken coop, feed and charcoal.
The young entrepreneur began raising chickens after he learned more about local food supply and demand during the PPP course. Daka hired his brother as an employee and plans to package his chicken and eggs for grocery and restaurant sale in the future.
He has since repaid his loan in full and was able to pay for his brother’s school fees using profits from his business.
New Funding for PPPs
In 2014, the African Development Bank Group (AFDB) approved the financing of 48 new private sector operations with an investment of UA 1.59 billion. According to the AFDB, PPPs are one of the best ways for countries to foster development via power transport, water and sanitation and telecommunications.
As the desire for greater efficiency and better services grows, the availability of public financing resources diminishes. The South African government continues to promotes PPPs to make up for this lack of funding, improve the business environment and reduce the youth unemployment rate.
– Kelsey Lay