Youth employment is Africa’s biggest challenge. That’s why our report, the African Economic Outlook 2012 www.AfricanEconomicOutlook.org – also available in paperback www.oecdbookshop.org -which we publish together with the African Development Bank, the UNDP and the UN Economic Commission for Africa– takes a close look at the problem and tries to identify solutions. A few numbers to clarifiy the issue: there are 200 million Africa youth. ‘Youth’ refers to people age 15 to 24. This number will double by 2045. Within the next 10 years, 130 million young people will be leaving the education system and be looking for jobs. Many of them won’t find one: as it stands, not enough jobs are created to keep up with the population growth, which is a real concern. This has important implications for the social and political fabric of African nations, and their stability: in most cases, jobs are the only potential asset for the poor who don’t have land, don’t have a house or any savings. It is their only way out of poverty and towards a better life. Without jobs comes despair and frustration, which not only is a predicament for individuals, but a risk for society. Besides the lack of jobs, our report shows two important issues when it comes to youth employment in Africa: That many young Africans, who are actually working, are poor and often do not make enough to put food on the table. This situation is called ‘working poverty’ and it is most common in low-income countries. Furthermore

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