UN Report Findings Show that Greater Access to Higher Education Will Boost Youth Job Prospects in Africa

African college students web

College students relaxing after class in Lesotho.

A newly-released UN report revealed that youth with post-secondary education living in middle and low-income countries have a much higher chance of finding a decent job than those with only secondary or primary education.

Conducted by the International Labor Organization, the report, Is education the solution to decent work for youth in developing economies?,  highlights that having the highest level of education “serves as a fairly dependable guarantee” towards securing a formal job.

“The report confirms the role of education in shaping labor market outcomes of young people,” stated Azita Berar Awad, Director of the Employment Policy Department of the ILO, in a press release. “It also highlights the need for more investments in quality education, from primary through academic levels.”

The report warned that too many youth are still not fully benefiting from the education system, largely due to poverty. Study findings point to a “missed opportunity” to break the poverty trap since educational outcomes are clearly linked to wages and will increase the likelihood of gaining stable employment.

Yet, the completion of secondary education was not enough to guarantee better labor market outcomes for youth in low-income countries.

“Many developing countries have been slowly progressing towards universal access to primary education for all, yet significant work remains to be done to ensure participation of the more disadvantaged youth and also to increase enrollment in secondary education,” according to the report, which was released on Dec. 15.

Countries should also consider developing national education and training policies to improve the links between education, training and the world of work to help secure a paid job in formal employment.

The international report was conducted surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Middle East and North Africa. In Africa, Benin, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, the United Republic of Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia participated in the survey.

To read the report, please click here.



Latest News

Read AAI’s digital newsletter debut issue on “Honoring History” and BHM

AAI Statement on the Passing of H.E. Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia

The Africa-America Institute Hosts Its 9th Annual SOE Conference on the African Diaspora