OECD Development Policy Papers

The OECD Strategy on Development aims to strengthen the Organisation’s contributions to inclusive and sustainable growth in a wide array of countries. It draws on OECD’s evidence-based approaches, policy dialogue and knowledge sharing to improve policy making and economic reform. This strategy identifies four interlinked thematic areas: innovative and sustainable sources of growth; mobilisation of resources for development; governance for sustainable development; and measuring progress for development. Designed for a wide readership, the OECD Development Policy Papers are intended to stimulate discussion and analysis on these topics.

English, French

Youth aspirations and the reality of jobs in Africa

The gap between youth aspirations and the reality of the labour markets in Africa is large. Career aspirations of young Africans have little in common with current and projected labour demand in the region, making it unlikely that they will go through a smooth school to work transition. Evidence from ten African countries shows that what youth in these countries value most is job security, such as work in the public sector. Agriculture-related work or medium-skilled jobs in manufacturing are the least attractive for young Africans. Policies can help address the misalignment between youth employment preferences and employment opportunities. A two-pronged approach is recommended: i) helping young people shape career aspirations that are realistic and that can fit with the world they will be entering, and ii) improving the quality of jobs with due regard to the job conditions that matter for young people.

English Also available in: French

Keywords: skills mismatch, youth employment, youth aspirations, african youth
JEL: J11: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts; J23: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Labor Demand; J18: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics: Public Policy; J13: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
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