Demographic Dividend and the Youth Agenda
DFID’s Economic Development Strategy notes that over the next decade a billion more young people will enter the job market, mainly in Asia and Africa. Africa’s population is set to double by 2050 and its urban population is set to triple. The strategy notes that in most African countries, more than half of the population is under 20. There is a strong link between job creation for youth, the agenda of women’s economic empowerment, and maintaining peace and stability in countries facing a massive surge in young people looking for work and incomes. Handled well, there is a “demographic dividend” which involves a rapidly growing workforce, falling dependency ratios, and accelerated economic growth and rising per capita incomes. Handled badly, there is a less virtuous circle of rising unemployment, instability, and migration pressures.
The youth agenda is very important for BERF. Our work in Mozambique examined the business environment constraints for youth in particular. The stakeholder diagnostic in OPTs looked at the youth as a distinct stakeholder group.