In its new discussion paper, the Swiss development organisation Helvetas points out five pre-requisites based on experience gained from local projects that could provide beneficial opportunity areas to the goring young population in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the youngest population in the world. Almost half of the population is under the 15 years of age. According to the UN, the population within the countries south of the Sahara might double in the next 30 years. The youth in the working age group can be a driving force for the country's economy and society. Ethiopia, Nigeria and Rwanda are already among the world's fastest-growing economies.
In its recently published discussion paper: A new beginning in Africa - Challenges and Prospects for a Young Population, the Swiss NGO - committed to broad-based, sustainable development cooperation - presents its approach to sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. This comprises five fields of action:
Helvetas provides important impetus in all five aspects. In the field of basic and vocational training, for example, the NGO has been successfully involved for decades. It initiated the ‘SKY - Skill and Knowledge for Youth’ project; wherein, by way of compact courses, young Ethiopians learn professions (in theory and practice) that are in demand on the labor market. Local private training centers train the young people to become hairdressers, tailors, carpenters and car mechanics. The training institutes only receive the full fee when the young professionals effectively earn a fixed income.
Launched in 2015, the project works based on the multiplier effect: many trainees later employ young people. And, around 150 state and private vocational schools in Ethiopia have adopted the curricula developed by Helvetas; and a total of over 240,000 young people have already been trained and supported into the labor market. Helvetas is now also applying the project in other African countries.
Starting October, Helvetas will be telling two concrete success stories with a new poster campaign throughout Switzerland.
Experts from Kenya and South Africa, among others, will discuss how Africa can develop its economic potential. Please join us via the Live-stream or stay tuned to our website for more details.