Youth in East Africa recognize the gap between the types of skills they gain within formal education systems and the types of skills employers seek. This was one of the findings of a youth-led research report by the MasterCard Foundation Think Tank.
At a launch organized recently in partnership with Restless Development, 15 members of the Youth Think Tank revealed findings from their peer-to-peer research report, providing key insights into youth employment and entrepreneurship trends in East Africa.
The report also revealed that Ugandan youth are taking proactive steps such as engaging in volunteer work and using information and communication technology (ICT) to acquire the skills they need for employment.
Another finding was that young people in rural areas are carefully considering employment opportunities in agriculture, rather than migrating to urban centres.
“The Youth Think Tank demonstrates the dedication and energy of young people to seek positive change within their communities,” said Ann Miles, Director, Financial Inclusion and Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation.
“Their research is an important piece of work that will help to inform not only the Foundation’s strategy for expanding youth economic opportunities, but also governments and policymakers in the youth development space.”
A member of the Youth Think Tank, Hilda Namakula from Uganda remarked “I have observed first-hand the sense of dis-empowerment that comes with youth unemployment.” She added that “Through this research, I can be part of the solution by gaining an in-depth understanding of this problem and being a voice for youth.”
Youth Think Tank members will continue to engage with their communities to generate a discussion on how to address the findings of this research and will also play an active role for future Youth Think Tank research.