According to the recently released United Nations report (“World Urbanization Prospects”), more than half of humanity now lives in cities. Today, 54% of the world’s population, 3.9 billion people, resides in urban areas, compared to only 30% back in 1950. The report predicts that cities will add an additional 2.5 billion people by 2050, with nearly 90% of this increase happening in Asia and Africa.
This year’s Workforce Development Track of the Making Cents conference saw more than a tenfold increase in proposal submissions and will feature a record number of panelists across nine distinct workforce themed panels. The lineup of proposals and participants provides terrific insight into the range and diversity of workforce issues that the development community and countries at large are grappling with, including public private partnerships, work-based learning interventions, soft-skills measurement, technology applications, career development practices and mentorship programs.
My name is Matthew French and I work for JBS International, Inc. This blog draws upon research conducted under contract with USAID’s office of Education (read the full youth engagement report here), as well as my own experiences working with young people.
Global Center for Youth Employment & Acceleration Group
The authors propose a model for reducing job-creator loss in regions facing severe youth unemployment. Job-creator loss occurs when young, would-be entrepreneurs lack opportunities to attempt scalable ventures. To date, efforts to expand such opportunities through microcredit and entrepreneurship training have seen mixed or inconclusive results.2 Our hypothesis is that more robust results depend upon introducing market signals that enable the local ecosystem to identify and champion promising young job creators.
“Building Inclusive Economies, where more people have access to more opportunities, equal shots at success, and the freedom to dene what success looks like for themselves” is a pillar of the Rockefeller Foundation's work. By 2050, 400 million young people in Africa will need sustainable employment opportunities, while national labor markets are struggling to keep up with this youth bulge.