The growth in the African economy has been steadily increasing overall. However, the vast majority of the increase in jobs is not going to the youth. During a study from 2000 to 2008, only 22% of all employed people were 25 and younger. In 2019, the youth unemployment rose to 11.58% in Sub-Saharan Africa since a dip in 2008.
Youth unemployment rates in Africa are currently at 10.64% and are the lowest they have been in the past 20 years. This improved economy could allow all generations to obtain employment opportunities. Young generations often cannot afford to not work, yet 51% of young women and 43% of young men in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have employment. The young generations in Africa are also becoming more educated with secondary education completion. Many expect that this higher education should rise over 10% in the next 20 years. Despite these statistics, youth unemployment could maintain low rates in the upcoming years.
What is the Digital Economy?
The digital economy is the way that people make money via online platforms, websites, companies and other outlets. The digital economy has transformed in recent years; now, many government services commonly use it and it is one of the main methods to sell products and services around the world. The digital marketplace includes more than just the use of the internet, but other technological tools.
With the invention of the internet and increased technological advances, there have been multitudes of positive impacts on individuals across the globe. There is a tremendous impact on even the most impoverished lives in Africa.
Digital Jobs Africa
Digital Jobs Africa is a project by the Rockefeller Foundation, that people know for its commitment to “promoting the well-being of humanity throughout the world.” One approach organizations are taking to make an impact on the impoverished persons in Africa is by providing support through funding and training for ICT based employment. African impoverished youth have the highest unemployment rates but are in an extremely accessible position. These youth can utilize the opportunities in digital employment to provide substantial support for the communities and families.
Jobs in the informal sector have shown lower wages than formal wages as some have witnessed in Zambia and Ghana. Digital jobs that can be short-term project-based work or a long-term salary position in information technology fields provide significant financial opportunity. Additionally, previously marginalized groups of young workers can step out of the $2-a-day earnings, which is extreme poverty. If technology companies employ African youth, there is potential to halt the continued marginalization of hard-working youth in Africa. The jobs could begin changing the way various industries view youth.
5 Digital Opportunities within the Digital Economy in Africa
- Impact Sourcing: Impact sourcing is directly employing those with limited opportunities, i.e. those with high rates of marginalization in the industry.
- Online Work: Online work is another opportunity that can be team-based or individual to complete tasks or projects.
- Local Content Innovation: Local content innovation revolves around new technology creation in software engineering, application development, and filling unique local demands for businesses and consumers.
- E-Public Goods: E-Public Goods is the idea of using the internet-based application to facilitate higher accessibility and rates of use in government focuses like health, education or agriculture.
- E-entrepreneurship: Some are also exploring e-entrepreneurship. These opportunities involve launching a service or product through the training and education that people obtained in IT or technology.
There is vast potential for youth in Africa to gain an education or training in fields of technology. These digital economy opportunities could profoundly impact the unemployment rates in Africa if companies employ African youth.
– Cassiday Moriarity