Education, Employment and Empowerment of Youth Key to Sustainable Development

22 May 2016

Speaking at the TEDxLusaka, Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, UNFPA Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, highlights three key areas in which Africa needs to invest to reap the Demographic Dividend: Education, Employment and Empowerment.

The Demographic Dividend is the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure - when the share of the working-age population is larger than the non-working-age share of the population. It is a boost in economic productivity that occurs when there are growing numbers of people in the workforce relative to the number of dependents.

"To realize the Demographic Dividend, African countries must invest in the Empowerment, Education and Employment of their young people. There are currently 894 million young people in Africa today - the next chapter for Africa depends on them. Yet too many of them are trapped in poverty, with few opportunities to learn or to earn a decent living. The more young people are given opportunities to grow into well-educated adults with fewer dependents and new opportunities to acquire wealth, savings and purchasing power, the more they will be able to accelerate economic growth and development" says Dr. Onabanjo.