Digital Jobs Africa is a new initiative by The Rockefeller Foundation that will focus on employment for Africa’s youth. The foundation has made a $100 million investment into the project. Building on three years of the Foundation’s existing work the project will target high potential youth who lack access to jobs and economic opportunities. Digital Jobs Africa will be led out of the Foundation’s Africa Regional office in Nairobi. The project is expected to impact one million people over the next 7 years through jobs and skills for youth in the ICT sector.
Africa has the youngest population in the world today, with the number of people between age 15 and 24 expected to double to 400 million by 2045. Sixty percent of young people in Africa are unemployed, and youth unemployment rates are double those of adult unemployment in most African countries. “The current pace of job creation in Africa is insufficient to meet the demands of a youth population growing in size and becoming better educated. Digital skills are fast becoming a requirement to gain employment, and ICT enabled jobs are more critical than ever in helping young people develop the required skills for the jobs of the future,” said Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director of the Africa Regional Office.
Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco Egypt and South Africa are the six focus countries of the initiative. The country selection was based on high levels of youth unemployment, the growth of their ICT-enabled sectors, including the existing level of governmental support and the potential to create significant numbers of jobs within the sector.