Tracking Youth Job Growth with Real-Time Data Insights

Africa is on the cusp of unprecedented youth population growth, with projections indicating an increase of nearly 100 million young people between 2023 and 2030. This surge, coupled with an average growth rate of 18.5%, significantly surpasses the global average of 2.4%. However, amidst this demographic boom, challenges persist, with an estimated 23 million young Africans currently unemployed and the number of NEET [Not in Employment, Education, or Training] youth expected to rise to 157 million by 2030.

In response to this urgent need, the World Data Lab [WDL] and the Mastercard Foundation joined forces to launch the African Youth Employment Clock. This innovative digital tool serves as a beacon of hope, offering real-time monitoring of job growth and forecasts employment trends for youth across Africa, with a focus on Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Ethiopia.

Mr. Raymond O. Ouma, HSC, Secretary For Youth Affairs, Ministry For Youth Affairs, Creative Economy and Sports

“The relentless pursuit and meticulous examination of employment data serve as the cornerstone for monitoring the existing programs and evaluating their success. Data-driven insights help us perpetually refine our strategies in youth employment, ensuring their enduring relevance and profound impact. I believe through a comprehensive understanding of youth unemployment, policymakers are empowered to make astute decisions, efficiently allocating resources where they are most needed.” said Mr. Raymond O. Ouma, HSC, Secretary For Youth Affairs, Ministry For Youth Affairs, Creative Economy and Sports.

At the heart of the Africa Youth Employment Clock is a commitment to democratizing data and driving actionable insights. By providing granular, user-friendly data on youth employment, disaggregated by gender, age, location, educational attainment, and sector, the Clock empowers decision-makers, policymakers, and development practitioners to enact meaningful change.

“We are proud to partner with the Mastercard Foundation to launch the Africa Youth Employment Clock. We believe in the power of youth employment data in Africa – offering the basis for more informed decision-making. The Clock will allow governments, private sector, and young people, to have access to more nuanced data on the concrete youth employment questions they have.” said Dr. Wolfgang Fengler, CEO, Word Data Lab.

Crucially, the Clock is accessible to all. It serves as a repository of statistical data, offering national insights for 54 African countries and subnational data for Kenya and Rwanda, with plans to expand coverage to Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal, and Ethiopia in the future.

Key features of the Clock include:

Real-time monitoring of job growth

Forecasting of employment trends until 2030

Disaggregated data on youth employment outcomes

Insights into job formality and working poverty status

The methodology underpinning the Africa Youth Employment Clock draws from surveys and datasets provided by national statistics offices, the International Labour Organization [ILO], and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis [IIASA]. Through rigorous modeling techniques, historical data trends, and projections on population growth and educational attainment, the Clock delivers credible estimates to inform decision-making processes.

As we stand at the precipice of Africa’s youth demographic dividend, the Africa Youth Employment Clock stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation. By harnessing the potential of data-driven insights, we can pave the way for a future where every young African has access to dignified and fulfilling work.

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