PASGR and Mastercard Foundation’s Groundbreaking Study on African Youths’ Economic Landscape

PASGR and Mastercard Foundation’s Study banner

A young female farmer inspecting the crops on a vibrant agricultural landscape.

Most African youths imagine a future where they can expand and diversify their current economic activities. These openings include pursuit for higher education, nominal entrepreneurship, professional salaried jobs, and investments in agriculture, although this was not very popular. The youth explore these options because they have limited access to productive resources such as land, capital, and market.

The Mastercard Foundation, in partnership with PASGR, is implementing a multi-country research and uptake initiative between 2021 and 2024 to explore young women’s and men’s aspirations and resilience across seven countries: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal. Through youth-led participatory research, we are exploring the realities of young women and men in their quest for dignified and fulfilling work in their own words.

The work examines the core themes of: youth and youthhood; youth aspirations and hopes for future work in relation to work, education and training and socio-economic wellbeing, and barriers to these; perspectives on dignified and fulfilling work; the impact of socio-economic setbacks shocks; as well as the strategies for resilience and adaptability. The partnership is doing this work under the leadership of a dedicated team of young researchers who are interrogating, documenting, analyzing, and reporting the authentic perspectives of their peers. The emerging body of insights suggests that opportunities for dignified and fulfilling work, as well as jobs that are secure and offer sufficient remuneration are important aspirations of both young women and men in Africa.

The insights highlighted in the reports from the partnership provide food for thought to stakeholders in the youth employment space in Africa. They are helping us stay close to what young women and men want in the implementation of the Young Africa Works strategy. Young Africa Works is the Foundation’s 10-year strategy for enabling young people in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work. Through Young Africa Works, the Foundation aims to enable 30 million young people, 70 percent of them being young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

Read the Reports

I want to be an entrepreneur report cover

This study explores youth unemployment in Africa, an ongoing challenge that policy makers are grappling with. The numerous policy interventions and programmes including loans and grants have not created enough jobs for young women and men on the continent.

Read the full report here
From waithood to hustling report cover

This study explores how youth across the study countries consider dignified work as employment that is meaningful and provides a sense of purpose, that offers good pay, and where employees have a safe and conducive environment for career and personal growth.

Read the full report here
In the Throes of Limited Opportunities report cover

This study explores the rising unemployment and informality among African youth, which constitute an impending crisis. While 13.3 per cent of youth aged between 15-24 remain unemployed, about 95 per cent of those employed work in informal settings.

Read the full report here

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