A recent effort by the World Bank has helped make overseas hiring feasible for many interested parties – and has driven a surge of employment in Africa.
Unemployment has always been a boogeyman of modern culture. Whether a fully-developed or an emerging market, no economy thrives when it has a high rate of unemployment. According to the U.N., the challenge of unemployment is growing by the year. In 2014, the number of unemployed passed 201 million people worldwide. A disproportionate number of these were women and young people just entering the workforce.
The internet could change that. Like almost everything else the internet has affected, the job market is a very different place now than it was only three or four years ago. Digital entrepreneurs are increasingly common, and small businesses have access to better tools and faster communication than was ever possible before.
Entrepreneurship is not always an option, however. Being a digital entrepreneur requires social networking, strong skill development and a market to work with. On the other hand, companies are often looking for new talent pools of employees.
A study supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and done in partnership with Dahlberg Consulting has recently resulted in a new service. The World Bank is now helping interested individuals and companies find global employees through a new online toolkit. Companies seeking new talent can look abroad for the perfect fit for their employees. Meanwhile, people with technology skills in developing countries can now find jobs that allow them to use their full capacities.
This new business model, called “online outsourcing,” has the power to catalyze new economic growth. It also has the potential to drive a new wave of economic inclusion and equality, as typically underrepresented groups can join the workforce.
The collaboration between the World Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation is part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Digital Jobs Africa Initiative. The mission of the initiative is to create new, sustainable employment opportunities for youth in Africa and the skills training to match. This is all working toward the ultimate goal of positively impacting 1 million lives in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.
So far, the collaborations have been a success. The partnership has enhanced digital job creation in Africa in a number of ways, including the development of an information technology park and capacity building for the digitization of public records in Ghana.
Africa’s economy and population are both growing at an unprecedented rate. By 2050, 400 million people under the age of 25 will need to be gainfully employed in order for the continent’s economic growth to be sustained. Initiatives like the partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Bank could be the key to success – both of Africa’s economy and of Africa’s youth. The job market is becoming truly global, and everyone will reap the benefits.
– Marina Middleton