Harnessing AfCFTA for Youth Empowerment in Africa

According to the United Nations, Africa has the youngest population in the world, with over 60 percent of people under 25 years. However, the youth unemployment rate in Africa is high, averaging over 20 percent across the continent. In some African countries like Djibouti, the unemployment rate is as high as 70 to 80 percent. Aside from unemployment, the youth are predominantly employed in the informal sector, facing job insecurity, economic marginalization, and limited access to finance.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has high prospects for harnessing the youth’s potential for sustainable development on the continent. The trade agreement, negotiated by member states of the African Union, aims to establish conditions for free trade among African countries. These countries can address unemployment by fully ratifying and implementing the AfCFTA agreement. The unconducive environment for youth entrepreneurship in many African countries limits job opportunities for young people. Many young people involved in intra-continental businesses struggle with high trade tariffs and the differential complex trade processes across various African countries.

To read more, check the full article on The Cable.

Photo by Hugu Etteoke via Iwaria.