14th African Regional Meeting

Making Decent Work a Reality for Africa’s Youth


Chris Ngige
Minister of Labour and Employment, Nigeria

Mamadou Touré
Minister for the Promotion of Youth and Youth Employment, Côte d’Ivoire

Ifeoma Okafor Obi
Director of Operations, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Nigeria

Ayabonga Cawe
Managing Director of Xesibe Holdings, South Africa

Grace Nabakooza
Federation of Uganda Employers

Peter Mutasa
President of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and General Secretary of Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union


Nozipho Mbanjwa


Ensuring full and productive employment for young women and men is a major policy challenge for the African region. The current youth employment situation is grave with 13.4 million youth unemployed, 52.2 million not in employment education or training (NEET) and 54.4 million working but poor. Furthermore, the youth labour force in Africa is estimated to increase by 37 per cent in 2030 to reach 168.5 million, thus adding further pressure to the labour market and making creation of decent employment opportunities for youth a priority. Youth in the African region are also more vulnerable to situations of political, economic and environmental fragility. At the same time, technological changes in the world of work are likely to affect both the quantity and quality of jobs for young African women and men in the future. Smooth and sustainable youth transitions to the Future of Work (FoW) are critical for the growth and prosperity of the African region. This will depend on innovative policy action and political commitment on the part of African stakeholders.

This high-level interactive panel will address key issues relating to the youth employment challenge in the continent. It will focus on the type of policy action and interventions, and innovations necessary to ensure real impact during the next decade at the regional, national and local level to create more and better jobs for Africa’s youth to ensure a brighter future for the continent as a whole.