Youth Economic Empowerment
Youth is Africa’s Future
Why empower youth?
In Africa, youth are accounted to be unemployed in the workforce, with women even more unlikely to be employed than men. Africa’s youth population is expected to increase while the labor force is also expected to grow.
Youth employment is both an economic and a security issue for Africa, with the lack of decent livelihood opportunities as one of the driving forces behind violence or organized crime. It is also a cultural challenge since large families (up to 7 children) in areas dependent on subsistence farming, are under significant pressure. Only the first or second children have any hope of inheriting the farm land that has been held in the same families for millennia. That means that the additional 3-6 children typical in these family units are relegated to work on the family farms with only the hope of earning shelter and food. Many will be lured away to other countries because of their skills as cultivators, further deteriorating the family and social structure.
Africa is going through fast social, political, and economic transformations that have a deep impact on youth. Promoting youth employment is one of the 21st century challenges of the continent.
We empowers youth in rural areas with practical skills so they can envision a future locally, without relying on subsistence farming.
With almost half of the population under 18, the future of the Africa countries is within youth’s hands
African youth facts and figures
- Almost half of Africa’s population is under 25; about 75% is under the age of 35. It is estimated that by 2050, Africa will account for 29% of all people aged 15 to 24. This is about 348 million of the total 1.2 billion persons globally.
- More than 50 per cent of Africa’s youth are illiterate.
- Education progress in narrowing the gender gap and increasing literacy levels have had little impact on unemployment rates
We strive to empower the youth in the rural communities in which we intervene and in every step we take. We work to teach practical knowledge, provide employment opportunities and promote gender equality. Through youth empowerment, we encourage economic development, reduce population displacement, enhance community cohesiveness and local security. We seek to give young people the necessary tools to build a sustainable, bright future.
An example, the KidsKits school partnerships
A project designed to empower school-aged students with knowledge in solar technologies, raise green energy awareness and improve the quality of life of those living off grid.
The project is based on assessing the need for youth in Africa to access light and improve their conditions of life; and youth to understand the importance of renewable energy and the ongoing challenges of an African peer living in remote areas.
Youth coordinators will ensure the success of the project.
- · Combining a small solar panel, a battery and 1 to 3 LED diodes; they provide enough light to change the life of hundreds of people living off grid.
- Easy to build and with components that are inexpensive, these kits can easily be assembled and used by kids.
- It allows kids to read at night:
- In villages where there is no electricity, at night the kids can’t read or do their homework. A simple kit with 3 LEDs provides light for about 10 hours and allows reading easily.
- It can be used as a flashlight:
- Things as simple as from one house to another at night can be greatly simplified by the DIY Solar Kit.
- It can power a radio or a calculator:
- The DIY Solar Kit can replace batteries to power small electronic devices as radios or calculators. When batteries would be expensive and damage the environment, solar is a free, renewable source of energy, with the potential to improve lives of thousands of students.
It’s Time to Raise Awareness of Environmental Issues:
More than two billion people cannot access affordable energy services today and depend on inefficient locally collected and often unprocessed biomass-based fuels, such as crop residues, wood and animal dung.
Solar energy, cash crop farming, textile industry… Africa is rich of its natural resources and traditional art. We focus on practical skills to empower youth and generate employment opportunities.
In the villages in which we intervene, we train youth to convert dangerous and unhealthy kerosene lamps into safe and sustainable solar ones, start micro businesses to build, repair and sell the lamps; build charging stations using solar energy to have a center point for people to recharge their electronic units; plant, harvest, process, package and sell tea produced locally; and expand the west-African textile industry.
All these projects empower youth and give them means of incomes to stay within the communities they grew up in, preventing family dislocation and impoverishment.