By Jörg Kleis
With over 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, Africa has the youngest population in the world. Now home to 1.2 billion our neighbouring continent is projected to have a population of 2.4 billion by the year 2050, with an annual increase exceeding 42 million people per year. The average age is going to be 25. What does that mean?
We know that Africa is far too large in terms of its size, dynamics or diversity to make any general remarks without risking a misunderstanding. What matters in this context is that you can already hear people bursting out that the figures described are tantamount to a ticking time bomb. They will be pointing you to the fact that on average more than 70% of Africa’s youth already live on less than US$2 per day, the internationally defined poverty threshold.
Not a ticking time bomb but an opportunity
Well, we disagree. We are of the opinion that this angle is exactly what will prevent you from making the right decisions in the first place. Instead, we should be looking at this as an opportunity, knowing that there are questions in need of being answered and problems in need of being solved. And what is all boils down to is jobs. Job creation, talent retention, vocational and academic education, employability and entrepreneurship.
With our magazine we want to express that the words ‘jobs’ and ‘Africa’ are going to be like white on rice. We predict that you are going to hear and read about these two words in the same context for the next decades. While we will always be willing to admit that we have been wrong, we will continue to use this magazine to focus on the challenges and success stories relating thereto. We therefore created sections featuring candidate stories, partner stories, team stories as well as columns on employability and career advice (Career booklet), doing business in Africa containing information for companies (Doing business), politics and international relations (Europe & Africa) and corporate culture in the 21st century (New Work).
Let us jump right in
So let us jump right in. What jobs are the young ones going to have? What are the milestones so more career perspectives can be created? How can we create more brain circulation? How do education, training and equal opportunities play into this? What role do Europeans and foreign businesses play? How can Europe and Africa meet at eye level? We want to tell our stories, your stories and re-write the narrative of European-African relations in order to turn to answers. Enjoy reading and feel free to spread the word.