Below is a viewpoint from the Foresight Africa 2022 report, which explores top priorities for the region in the coming year. Read the full chapter on Africa's economic recovery.
With Africa’s ever-increasing youth population projected to double by 2050, the need for innovative and sustainable ways to support youth employment only continues to grow in importance. While the challenge is daunting, it also has inspired so many of Africa’s creative and diligent young people to take charge of their own futures, coming up with innovative solutions to keep themselves employed and actively engaged. Consequently, training young people in entrepreneurship—how to create, run, and manage businesses—so that their creativity and efforts will bear fruit is central not only for improving individual lives, but for bolstering the entire region’s economic gains.
CEO - The Tony Elumelu Foundation
As evidenced by our entrepreneurship program, African youth continue to show that they are innovative, creative, and diligent in seeing their ideas come to life. With adequate support, young entrepreneurs will create jobs, provide value, and innovate—which our continent desperately needs.
Young people are equipping themselves with skills beyond the classroom while being exposed to new and different career paths; this presents an opportunity to transform the continent in catalytic ways. Platforms such as TEF Connect—our proprietary digital marketplace for African entrepreneurs—is one of such tools serving this purpose. With continued expansion, more young Africans will be able to access opportunities, learn, and explore intra-regional opportunities.
Promising sectors such as financial services and the tech ecosystem remind us of the many young African entrepreneurs creating transformative solutions and continuing to be innovative within these sectors and beyond.
Promising sectors such as financial services and the tech ecosystem remind us of the many young African entrepreneurs creating transformative solutions and continuing to be innovative within these sectors and beyond. To accomplish all of these, challenges of irregular policy regulation, access to power and electricity, as well as improving the logistics supply chain must be addressed.
The future is indeed bright: With the digital advancements of the last decade, the proliferation of digital technology and skills has drastically improved the lives of young people and offered unprecedented access to opportunities once hard to reach. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have shocked the continent, and building resilient businesses that can withstand uncertainties is a crucial way to support African youth. Moreover, the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area presents an opportunity to solve these issues and to improve entrepreneurship on the continent in a catalytic way. By building and streamlining business registration, operation, and regulatory processes, the future of entrepreneurship on the continent can be sustainable, efficient, and monumental.