As we celebrate International Youth Day today, it is important to turn attention to sub-Saharan Africa since its youth population is enormous and on course to grow dramatically in the coming years. Roughly 10 to 12 million sub-Saharan African youth enter the labor market every single year. While this growth provides the opportunity for a demographic dividend—where the number of working-age people outweighs the number of dependents—it also presents the risk for soaring rates of youth unemployment.
In an effort to contribute ideas and create policy recommendations towards addressing this major issue, five of the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative’s (AGI) partner think tanks studied their respective country experiences in tackling youth unemployment. These essays survey key policies that their governments have implemented—some that worked well, others less so—and offer lessons to local, regional and global policymakers. Over the coming weeks we will be publishing these examinations of youth unemployment in the unique contexts of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.