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Africa is the most youthful continent in the world with approximately 226 million youth aged between 15 and 24 years and reports indicate that the number is growing rapidly. These youths face numerous challenges, a major one being unemployment. Statistics show that about 60 percent of the continent’s youth are unemployed. Therefore, youth employment remains a top priority in Africa.
For Africa to maintain its current growth trajectory, it’s estimated that 400 million people under 25 will need viable employment by 2050.
With the rising levels of unemployment, the Internet is starting to play a key role in the creation of jobs, especially for populations in Africa. Across the globe, technology and e-commerce have helped boost employment to a great extent. For instance, Amazon, a global e-commerce platform is the second largest private employer in the US.
As online marketplaces continue to grow, a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consultancy firm estimates that 3 million jobs will be created in Africa in the next five years courtesy technology and the online market place.
The report christened ‘How Online Marketplaces can power employment in Africa’, notes that platforms including Jumia, Uber and Travelstart can, in addition to matching buyers and sellers, raise incomes and boost economic growth.
“In much of Africa, where the retail sector and formal labor markets remain underdeveloped, the potential downsides of the rapid expansion of online marketplaces are negligible and the potential gains significant,” reads a part of the report.
“By our analysis, online marketplaces could create around 3 million new jobs, ranging from delivery drivers to retail and hospitality workers, across the continent by 2025. These businesses could also boost African economies by expanding the supply of goods and services, making assets more productive, and unlocking new demand in remote locations, which will boost consumer spending.”
The report recommends governments to lias with these digital marketing platforms in order to create a healthy environment in which businesses can not only thrive but also achieve full potential.
“We suggest a three-pronged approach that fosters a mutual understanding of both the opportunities and concerns of the public and private sectors, involves sharing of resources, and builds the right technological infrastructure and governance systems.” The report further calls for partnerships between the public and private sector, a move that will help build a “healthy digital environment.”
“The public and private sectors can also build a co-regulation framework that balances social and political risks with the promise of the value that online marketplaces can create.”
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