Amman, 24 May 2022 (TDI): 33 million new jobs will be required by 2030 in the east and north African regions to address the growing number of unemployed youth. Africa is currently the world’s largest unemployment hotspot in need of substantial improvements.

This joint statement was delivered by the UN labor agency (ILO), The United Nations development program (UNDP), the UN population fund (UNFPA), and the United Nations children fund (UNICEF) on Monday.

This was shared ahead of a two-day meeting “ Young People’s learning, Skills, Inclusion and Work” in Amman Jordan. The conference will address key priority issues for youth and adolescents during the transition from learning to working predominantly, in Arabic-speaking countries.

Exchange of Good Practices

The upcoming event for young people learning skills inclusion and work aims to bring government officials and key stakeholders, the private sector, and humanitarian organizations to exchange dialogue on good practices.

“Current education systems and curricula do not match the evolving labor market and the changing nature of work. They do not provide young people with enough skills, critical to success in today’s economy”, the statement claims.

The statement also focuses on the lack of creativity, critical thinking, communication, skills problem-solving skills, and cooperation among young people.

The agencies regarded youth and educated adolescents as drivers of positive change in the world and forerunners of human rights protection.

The recommendations of the meeting will be shared in the UN Secretary-General’s Global Summit on Transforming Education in September 2022.

Lack of Opportunities for Youth

Youth in poor Middle Eastern and African countries is currently facing various social-economic challenges. A large proportion of such youth also constitutes young girls, women people with disabilities, as well as special needs refugees and displaced migrants.

Most of these vulnerable people are out of school and lack access to quality education. According to statistics by the UN, the region already had nearly 14 million children out of school in the pre-pandemic COVID-19 era.

Also, the region has the lowest rate of return to education in the world. COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the education crisis of this region and widened existing inequalities.

Unemployed Youth in Africa

The rate of unemployment in African countries is almost twice as high as in the rest of the world. This rate has grown 2.5 times fast between 2010 and 2020.

In order to address this issue, the region needs to create more than 33.3 million new jobs by 2030 to reduce the overall unemployment rate and absorb a large number of youth entering the workforce.

The creation of new employment opportunities will also stabilize the rate of unemployment in the region. In a statement, the ILO blamed the recent pandemic and multiple crises to increase inequality within and between countries.

The report also stated that currently there are 112 million fewer part-time jobs today as compared to how many there were before the pandemic.