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Why are so many youths in Africa unemployed?

Africa HYS team | 13:14 UK time, Thursday, 21 July 2011

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says global unemployment among youths aged  between 15- 24 has reached the highest level on record. What is the situation in your country?
unemployed youth



The ILO claims 80 million people are unemployed world wide and says that the situation in sub-Saharan Africa needs urgent attention.

Lagos based recruitment expert Funmi Wale-Adegbite says "over parenting" is to blame for giving young people the wrong attitude towards work.

"A high-proportion of unemployment is due to parents not cutting the cord, and not leaving that young man or woman to make something of themselves," she says.  Do you agree?

Where do you think the problem lies? 

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Thursday 21 July at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.


  • Comment number 1.

    Parents are to blame on the one hand and children on the other.
    some children tend to be attracted to the wrong things or negative activities. thus frustrates them in the job market.
    parents will always want their children to do what they want.

  • Comment number 2.

    i blame our leaders

  • Comment number 3.

    the big problems we have is bad GOVTS,poor electrity,inability of some parents to train their children,poor family planing system and lack of proper or good investments as well as poverty are some of factors contributing to these mass unemployment most especially in africa.

  • Comment number 4.

    It is a pityable dismal pismal and regretable that vast nigerians youth are uneployed. This is caused by lack of employment opportunity in nigeria, low level of litracy, lack of government policy and planing for the youth and get rich quick syndrome by crucked way. Therefore, over parenting can not be attributed to caused of unemployment.

  • Comment number 5.

    Youth unemployment in sub-saharan Africa is caused by the fact that money is extreemly unevenly spread. Very few people can adequately patronise local businesses. Local businesses struggle and therefore cannot create jobs. That is the fact of the matter. Short and simple!

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm not sure what the quoted "recruitment expert" actually does for a living, but I wouldn't let her near my organization with such thoughtless, inane drivel coming from her lips. Where are these young people supposed to find the jobs, to begin with? Indeed, why does she think so many young people risk their lives daily to migrate?

  • Comment number 7.

    A handful elite parent spoiling their children has nothing to do with high youth unemployment. Rather, it is due to lack of infrastructures, poor economic planning by government and private sectors across Africa. A problem compounded by graduates ill-prepared for the job market. 1 of 2

  • Comment number 8.

    To reduce unemployment, aspiring young entrepreneurs need nurturing from bank and venture capitalists. African countries need to diversify their economy. Public and private schools/universities need to prepare students for the job market and promote entrepreneurial spirit. 2 of 2

  • Comment number 9.

    Well unemployment is so high in Ghana because the government would rather use over 300 million dollars of loan money to purchase useless fighter jets than to create jobs. We have clueless people as leaders that's why our youths are all selling water on the street, doing armed robbery and smoking weed at home!

  • Comment number 10.

    Youth unemployment is as a result on the government part not to make adequate provision for the youth and retired the older people once they reach a certain age in order to make way for the younger generation

  • Comment number 11.

    Our leaders are to blame because the kind of democracy being practise in this Africa is "Government of the Elected by the Elected and for the Selected". Once our so called leader get to power, they are concern about their themselves, god-fathers and political thug they used for election. Africa, where are we going ?

  • Comment number 12.

    Youth unemployment is an economic problem, not a parenting one. As African countries struggle to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, policy innovation, space for private sector and stifle economic growth through bad policies, they create huge unemployment problem. The solution lies in addressing these issues, not on wasting time telling parents how to raise employable kids!

  • Comment number 13.

    The Society is partly to be blame because there exist a high degree of parental dependance which is not questioned. Most youth also shun away from meanial jobs but pray for a visa to take up same jobs abroad. There exist oppurtunities here that can be professionalised into money spinning venture. Furthermore, the quike/cheap money mentality has not also help in Africa (Nigeria). [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 14.

    Youth unemployment in Africa is partly due to short sighted leadership, and partly because many of the employed who are past due for retirement did not register with their true age or amend their age through the back door and retain their position. Consequently, no new jobs are being created and the existing job market is too saturated for young aspirants to enter…

  • Comment number 15.

    …A second factor is the fine line between education and business; one is either a business person or a student therefore entrepreneurial spirit is not vibrant among majority of the youth who regard “business men” as uneducated and for the hand full who have the motivation to do business, there is no support from either the banks or the government available for them to begin with.

  • Comment number 16.

    In my opinion the blame goes to the state...if governments are able enough to provide employment, then I dare say there would be lesser cases of unemployment, but the thing is that there are no jobs! surely which parent is willing to let his or her child become a street urchin?

  • Comment number 17.

    Because African leaders do not know how to create jobs, and are not interested in creating jobs for their peoples.

  • Comment number 18.

    Why should anybody in the west think that we know how to get employment in Africa, there have been long periods of unemployment in Europe and also in the USA. We have trouble keeping in employment here Africa must solve it own problems....

  • Comment number 19.

    In African Contienent it is observed that there is Lack of Knowledge amog people regarding innovation.On other hand Governmenmt are not trying empower people or attract froeign investment to come and create opportunites for Localites.Government itself is not interested in improving their countries economic condition or even if they they are not planning it in proper way.

  • Comment number 20.

    unemployment is high in Nigeria due to the fact that we have a government that cannot create jobs and cannot provide the platform for people to create jobs, universities are busy training job seekers instead of job creators and the legislators are engrossed in sharing the "national cake" than passing laws that would ensure government provides jobs and platforms to create jobs....most unfortunate

  • Comment number 21.

    I want to believe that unemployment will always be a challenge for as long as the employers do not change their attitudes. During tough economic times, employers think of one way of saving: Retrenchment. In South Africa for instance, the economy cannot cater for all the economically active people in the market. The economy needs to grow. For this we need foreign investment.

  • Comment number 22.

    African youths' problems are a product of a collapsed society and on the other hand, African youths have taking from their parents that consume everything and the lust for money.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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