The Youth Cafe’s Africa Youth Development Index (AYDI) is a collaboration between The Youth Cafe and other youth-serving organizations across the globe to measure, benchmark, and monitor youth development and access of young people to education, and training, employment, health, and wellbeing. The Youth Cafe’s AYDI focuses on indicators like The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita; the Human Development Index (HDI); the GINI; literacy rates; Drug use; fund allocation; minimum wage; skilled labor; Internet users; employment ratio; NEET (a young person who is not in education, employment, or training).
Other indicators include agro-produce, livestock, market exploitation, and value addition; access to finance, capital and grants; conducive trade and business environment; health and well-being; social protection; sports and creative economy; youth representations and inclusion in government and its agencies; systematic coordination of the youth function; culture of civic citizenship by the youth; and public participation among others.
The Youth Cafe uses the terms youth and young people interchangeably to mean age 15-35, understanding that other entities use different definitions.
Africa Youth Development Index focuses on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, using indicators such as the:- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, or GDP per capita, a measure of a country’s economic output that accounts for its number of people.
It divides the country’s gross domestic product by its total population; The Human Development Index(HDI), a statistical measure (composite index) developed by the United Nations to assess the social and economic development of countries around the world, considers three indicators of human development, namely, life expectancy, education, and per capita income; The GINI Index, which according to the Census Bureau is a summary measure of income inequality within a country using the Gini coefficient which incorporates the detailed shared data into a single statistic, summarising the dispersion of income across the entire income distribution.
By summarizing the most relevant data and evidence across Africa, it provides a tool for governments and businesses to understand better how they might support young people to engage with education, training, and work. The AYDI makes a deep dive into the challenges and opportunities in Africa.
As economies across Africa grapple with the impacts of total job losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the AYDI seeks to shed light on how best to help those disproportionately affected as the economy and employment recover.
Beyond the pandemic, it is clear that while largely beneficial for society, technological change may pose threats to the jobs and livelihoods of many people, globally and in Africa. The challenges can be big: for instance, according to some estimates, up to 30% of jobs could be at risk of becoming redundant due to technological advancement in Africa without intervention.
Based on different scenarios of how youth employment may evolve into the future in the context of megatrends, the policy implications of the indicators are focused on the long-term.
The AYDI’s ultimate goal is to improve our understanding of how young people can be encouraged and enabled to realize their potential through productive careers that will also benefit our future economy and society.
Unemployment at the start of a career can have a cumulative effect, with loss of confidence and skills affecting job opportunities. In short, the earlier you miss out, the more you miss out. The headline data risks masking other challenges in the labor market that threaten the prospect of young people.
Skills gaps are increasing as new jobs emerge in sophisticated sectors heavily dependent on technology. There is the risk of a widening gulf between young people who can readily access their opportunities and those who can’t. An inlet is often determined by a person’s background and where they were born.
The Youth Cafe firmly believes that change can ensure youth development through advocacy for new jobs in highly skilled and emerging sectors equate to higher-quality jobs for more people. According to USAID, Positive Youth Development (PYD) engages youth with their families, communities, or governments so that youth are empowered to reach their full potential.
The Africa Youth Development Index utilizes the PYD framework with a focus on helping the African youths to improve on their assets where youth have the necessary resources and skills to achieve desired outcomes as well as their agency in which Youth can employ their assets and aspirations to make their own decisions about their lives, set their own goals, and act on those decisions to achieve desired outcomes without fear of violence or retribution.
In addition, it emphasizes enabling environment through which an enabling climate surrounds youth that maximizes their assets, agency, access to services and opportunities, and ability to avoid risks while promoting their social and emotional competence to thrive and the notion of contribution where youth are encouraged, recognized, and able to be involved in and lead through various channels as a source of change for their own and their communities’ positive development.
Lastly, It requires government, businesses, and civil society to work together to identify effective policies and solutions that ensure job opportunities are spread out and meet market demand and needs. This work will rely on data and evidence to shine a light on what’s happening where.
The Youth Cafe’s Africa Youth Development Index is such a light – it can measure, benchmark, and monitor African progress in employing, training young people, and empowering them. AYDI is key to identifying challenges and opportunities in specific regions and sectors. The Youth Café is delighted to work with other like-minded organizations to improve our understanding of this.
At The Youth Café, we’ve seen firsthand the benefits of incubations and targeted skills programs, but there’s still a long way to go. We are dedicated to playing our part in these efforts and ensuring that youths and future generations stand a chance to benefit no matter where you are based or born in Africa.
The primary mission of The Youth Café through AYDI is to explore the drivers and current situation of marginalized young people in the African markets while developing evidence-based solutions that help them to thrive in decent jobs and careers.
The current economic context, with record vacancies alongside historically low participation rates of young people in the jobs market, means employers need to think innovatively about reaching potential young workers who are also facing disadvantages and discrimination.
We’re working with other organizations to develop this first iteration of the Africa Youth Development Index for 2022 to set out some of those challenges faced by employers, governments, and especially young people in this current testing context.
We aim to combine our focus on evidence and solutions with other organizations’ engaging approaches to interrogate and set out the data on young people not in employment, education, or training (NEET) compared to other African countries.
Even if actors are not moved by the plight and injustice of young people locked out of opportunities in the jobs market, the waste of potential and impact on national wealth should be ample reason enough to get behind the solutions in this project.
Many young people risk being stranded in low-wage work, outside education or employment, in the coming decades – unless Africa creates a more inclusive and resilient labor market. The trend of gaps in youth resumes is likely to continue, or worsen, without significant action to improve support for young people.
Long-term global trends, including climate change, technological advancements, and demographic shifts, pose significant challenges for young people. Those entering the workforce over the coming years face increasing risks of their jobs being redundant, growing skills gaps, and rising inequality.
However, change also presents an opportunity to redirect the current trajectory of the labor market and unlock the full potential of young people across Africa. By opening paths into new sectors such as the green economy, empowering young people to benefit from increased flexibility in work, or supporting them to visualize a new career path, each global trend can create opportunities for young people.
Investing in young people benefits them and the economy in general. Today’s youths are Africa’s future workforce, and equipping them with the right skills and experience will lead to sustainable growth that benefits all. Their future is the future of the economy.
The AYDI is a signature initiative of The Youth Cafe in collaboration with a network of youth-serving organizations providing a vital tool to measure, benchmark, and monitor progress across Africa in employing and training young people. This is key to identifying challenges and opportunities in specific economies.
The AYDI adopts a forward-looking approach, beyond the short-term disruptions of COVID-19, to anticipate how labor markets may evolve over the next decade in response to regional and global megatrends. The tool helps inform effective action to enable our young people to realize their potential – through productive careers that will also benefit our future economy and society.
In developing Africa Youth Development Index, The Youth Cafe has benchmarked with several organizations from similar indices, such as the Commonwealth Youth Development Index, which is a tool that ranks countries between 0.00 (lowest) and 1.00 (highest) according to the developments in youth education, employment, health, equality and inclusion, peace and security, and political and civic participation to help us monitor changes in the situation of young people; recognize their contributions to the world; and support them as we all pursue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 2020 Commonwealth YDI measured progress in 161 countries, including 48 of the 54 Commonwealth countries, across six domains of youth development: Health and Wellbeing, Education, Employment and Opportunity, Political and Civic Participation, Equality and Inclusion, and Peace and Security. Also, PWC produced the Youth Employment Index in collaboration with the Youth Futures Foundation.
The Youth Café works with young men and women around Africa as a trailblazer in advancing youth-led approaches toward achieving sustainable development, social equity, innovative solutions, community resilience, and transformative change.
Engagement Period and Duties
The in-country researchers across Africa will contribute to the project through design, data collection, research and dissemination. The researchers will be engaged for a period between 2 to 4 weeks, with approximately 4-6 hour per week commitment. People who have prior experience in youth development, research, statistics, economics, communication, digital media, report writing, and related fields are strongly encouraged to apply.
Application Deadline: 16th July, 2022 (11:59 pm GMT)
For how to apply and other details check the sponsoring organization’s website <<Here>>