GFAR blog

Investing in Africa’s young population to drive the Continent’s Agenda


According to the United Nations report, by 2050, there will be an increase of 1.3 billion in Africa’s population. Africa’s growth is expected to move from 1 to 4 billion people. Forty-five percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is below the age of fifteen, yet over the next two decades, 330 million young Africans will be entering the job market looking for work. How prepared are we in addressing the future employment demands for Africa’s young people?

As African Universities continue to churn out vast numbers of graduates, issues of quality of the African graduates become pertinent. The increasingly evolving job market demands more from universities to train graduates that are attuned to the demands and realities in real work environment. A well rounded graduate with soft skills and experience is more attractive for employment. This demand from the business sector has ignited a change in the way universities deliver encouraging the inclusion of both managerial and technical skills for its graduates. As universities thrive to stay relevant within the business changing demands, it is important to address the employability issues of African graduates in their countries. How relevant are our graduates when they return to their home institutions and countries?

According to the African Development Bank (AfDB) report, for Africans to travel to other States within the continent, 55% of the States will require visas and only 20% of nations allow Africans to enter without visas while 25% offer visas on arrival. Africa is experiencing a growing trend of international academic and student mobility linked to globalization yet there is little effort done in improving mobility across the continent. Mobility facilities knowledge transfers and exchange through collaborative teaching and research activities. It helps us to understand better, love and appreciate our continent’s diversity. It also increases opportunity for trade and indeed spill-over of innovations. As African governments seek to ease movement across the continent through initiatives such as the African passport proposed by the African Union, one can only wonder what more can we do with the increased access to ICTs to remove “mental boundaries” to allow for more collaboration within Africa.


Read the full post on the RUFORUM blog here 

Blog post by: Joan Apio, Communication Officer at RUFORUM Secretariat. She can be contacted at:

Photo credit: Go Trolley Films​/RUFORUM

This post is the second issue in a series of articles released as part of the RUFORUM AGM Digests. Click here to access previous issues. You can get more details about the meeting at

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