African governments and development organisations have struggled to solve two major challenges on the continent:
1. Access to markets for African businesses
Despite the institution of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in 2021 – bringing bring continent-wide free trade to 1.3 billion people in an $3.4 trillion economic bloc – implementation of the AfCFTA across the continent has been slow due to infrastructure challenges, regulatory hinderances, political unrest, and cross-border bureaucracy.
2. Youth Unemployment
Africa has the youngest population in the world. According to the Ernst & Young Africa Report, approximately 10 million young people enter the labour market each year. As exciting as this may seem to a global market in need of driven and innovative minds to provide solutions to some of the world’s growing challenges, these numbers pose both a big problem as well as a great opportunity for Africa’s current job market.
Approximately 70% of Africa’s population is young people. Of these, 60% are unemployed and desperately seeking opportunities to utilise their acquired knowledge, express their creativity and maximise their potential both locally and globally.Across the continent, ambitious governments have outlined various visions to tackle the rate of unemployment as well as create sustainable development. The challenge with some of these visions is there does not seem to be any concrete plan in place to enhance human capital through ongoing training whilst providing income generating opportunities.