Africa is the youngest and fastest-growing continent in the world. By 2030, there will be 375 million young people in the job market in Africa. Within a few decades, this demographic boom will push Africa’s workforce to more than a billion people, the largest in the world. A significant gap between the number of young people seeking work and the limited employment opportunities available to them means that they will face challenges finding formal employment and a pathway out of poverty. Moreover, for some time we’ve observed a mismatch between the skills of young people entering the workforce and the needs of employers.
The Mastercard Foundation’s new strategy, Young Africa Works, outlines how, over the next decade, we will focus on finding solutions to the youth employment challenge and reducing poverty in Africa. When young people can secure formal work and a steady wage their lives improve. Employment, particularly formal employment, is a leading pathway out of poverty for families. Using youth employment as a measure of our progress, we will work to help millions of young people find a pathway out of poverty. Our work will ensure 30 million young people in Africa, particularly young women, secure dignified and fulfilling work.