Young Africa Works

Building on a vibrant, entrepreneurial culture to create economic opportunities for young people in Nigeria.

Our Goal: Eight to 10 million young people in Nigeria will have access to dignified work.

Context: Nigeria is a young, diverse, and dynamic country that abounds with potential. Roughly half of 190 million people living in Nigeria are between the ages of 15 and 24, and seventy percent of the population is under 30 years old. However youth unemployment poses a significant threat to Nigeria’s economic prospects. While the national unemployment rate is 18 percent, the youth unemployment rate is nearly double that, at more than 33 percent. Three out of 10 Africans who enter the labour market annually are Nigerians.

 Our Approach: Deliver interventions and partnerships that tap into Nigeria’s entrepreneurship culture, sizeable private sector, and widespread use of technology to connect over 2 million young people to opportunity over the next 5 years. We will begin in three states where 20 percent of young people live: Lagos, Kano, and Kaduna.

Priority Sectors: Agriculture, creative industries, and the digital economy.

Our Focus in Nigeria Over the Next Five Years

  • Scale access to affordable and versatile finance for MSMEs in the agriculture value chain and creative industries. We will partner with licenced financial service providers such as deposit money banks, microfinance banks, and Fintech organizations.
  • Drive investments in agro-processing, commercial and job-creating value chains. Increase farmer access to productivity enhancing tools while enabling functional market linkages and infrastructure that support agriculture productivity and expansion.
  • Collaborate with private and public sector institutions in the educational industry to provide young people with skills in the creative, agricultural and digital economy sub-sectors.
  • Support the provision of theoretical and practical on-the-job education and upskilling as well as job-creation projects in the creative sector. We will address barriers to the growth and formalization of the sector including rights management and global e-platform partnerships.
  • Improve the capacity of young people to compete for work by collaborating with institutions that provide resume development, apprenticeships and mentorship programs.
  • Facilitate digital literacy curriculum adoption. Support the development of e-platforms for jobs and gig work and equip tech-based MSMEs with skills, business support and capital.
  • Scale training in high-demand fields and collaborate with digital technology firms and job platforms that link young people to employers.
  • Improve the secondary and tertiary educational ecosystem via curriculum development, capacity building for teachers and other support services.
  • Improve the digital skills of young people and build a pipeline of future talent by partnering with secondary and tertiary institutions as well as technology hubs.

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