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Skills and Mobility

Why Africa’s Youth Is Key in Creating a Win-Win Situation for Europe and the African Continent

Skills and Mobility

January 30, 2024

Table Media GmbH

Africa’s youth lies at the heart of the continent’s progress and development. But youth unemployment continues to be a monumental and critical challenge for African countries. With Europe’s population aging and its urgent need for skilled workers, could Africa’s young and motivated youth population be key to creating a prosperous future for both Africa and Europe? How can this potential be realized to ensure a win-win scenario and a mutually beneficial economic situation for the neighboring continents Europe and Africa? We will discuss these and more questions with representatives from different sectors at The Africa Roundtable follow up event.

Key Takeaways

  • Realities vs. Misconceptions

    Migration on the African continent is mainly intra-continental. Labor migration from the continent to Europe remains irrelevant with less than 3% of residence permits issued in Germany, whereas the numbers are much higher for education. New, more inclusive regulations and policies are needed to make labor migration more accessible for workers at all levels.

  • The Role of the Diaspora

    The diaspora represents immense potential: The growing community can take up a key role in building bridges between Europe and Africa as they understand both worlds. They are more likely to set up and invest in local businesses on the ground and thus create jobs at place. One of the key questions is how the role and engagement of the diaspora can be leveraged.

  • Brain Circulation vs. Brain Drain

    Building skills in the field of emerging technologies is critical for the continent’s future. Less than 10 African countries have national AI policies in place, which still leaves a huge gap between the continent and other parts of the world. This technology gap needs to be filled by de-risking funding and investing in education and creating a pipeline from skilling to employability. Emerging technologies create opportunity for the African continent and Europe to foster Brain Circulation, rather than Brain Drain.

  • Ideas for Action

    We need a rewiring of attitudes: Companies need to see Africa as a space to solve their challenges and search for either talent or business solutions at place. Creating a continent-wide labor market sustainably requires (digital) infrastructure, regional mobility, equal terms, and free trade that includes intellectual capabilities, besides financing.

Global Perspectives: Skills and Mobility | Why Africa’s Youth Is Key in Creating a Win-Win Situation for Europe and the African Continent

Opening of the Circle "Skills and Mobility | Why Africa’s Youth Is Key in Creating a Win-Win Situation for Europe and the African Continent"

Contact Persons

Stephanie Igunbor, s.igunbor@globalperspectives.org

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The Global Perspectives Initiative (GPI) is a non-profit and independent platform based in Berlin, Germany. GPI works towards enhanced engagement and responsibility for sustainable development by German and European decision-makers and aims to strengthen African perspectives in policymaking.

To this end, GPI regularly brings together decision- makers from politics, business, civil society, academia and media to discuss new approaches, provide new impulses and raise awareness on the common opportunities and challenges the two neighboring continents are facing.

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