Young people are Africa’s greatest resource. With decent jobs and the right skills, they can contribute to their country’s transformation and development.
Meet some of Africa’s young people showcasing the continent’s potential and at the same time, creating jobs.
Jobs aren’t just boring 9 to 5 routines behind a desk! They can also be a pathway to pursue your dreams, and find fulfillment in doing what you love. That was the case for Ndubuisi Eze, popularly known as “The drone guy”. This young innovator had a vision to unlock the potential of smart farming and started to build drones that could help farmers with crop dusting and provide information about the farms through multispectral cameras and sensors.
This is more than just addressing basic bread and butter issues! Jobs also provide an opportunity for young people to empower one another in overcoming other social issues and challenges that they face. For Olivia this meant making a living out of helping young victims of sexual abuse. Her startup Pad Up Creations is dedicated to innovating more affordable, healthier, and eco-friendly menstrual solutions for Nigerian women and girls.
Marie Jeanne Diouf
Employment is first and foremost a tool for empowerment that can lift entire communities out of poverty. Marie Jeanne Diouf, ONE Champion in Senegal, understands this. She noticed the difficulties that women in the Karang commune were experiencing in selling the raw product of cashew nuts. With the support of her family, Marie Jeanne decided to help the women of Karang to organize themselves into groups and to set up systems of exploitation and sale of cashew nuts. They partnered with multi-service stations and supermarkets to sell their products. This has helped to organize the women of these communities and to make them more self-sufficient by moving them from subsistence farming to a business.
With more jobs, more children can look forward to going to school. If decent career opportunities aren’t available, young people don’t have any incentive to go to school because it seems like a waste of money. Not so for Wawira, during her years in university she hosted a Kenyan cuisine themed event and charged $20 a plate – the funds were used to start Food4Education (F4E), a social impact initiative that provides subsidized nutritious meals to primary school children in order to help improve their education. Today she is one of the most critically acclaimed activists and businesswomen in East Africa.
More jobs = more money to invest in yourself and create more opportunities for others. It wasn’t so easy for Theo Baloyi when he started his sneaker company Bathu but in the end he persevered. Today his company employs over 200 people. His vision was to build a shoe brand that Africans can proudly claim as their own and inspire others out there to pursue a journey to greatness. His success is all of our success because it provides more career opportunities for young people.
If more jobs are created, this can be the story of millions more young people, women and men from our communities across Africa.
We need decent jobs, not charity!