Africa has one of the highest levels of unemployment in the world. Since 2000, more than 27,000 Africans have died while trying to illegally enter Europe via the sea. The search for jobs and an escape from high levels of poverty across the continent is a major motivation.
Though unemployment in some African nations reportedly remains higher than 25 percent, general numbers are improving, and many believe that emerging economies in Africa are set to expand rapidly in the coming years.
With more than 70 percent of Africa’s population under the age of 25, there is a massive untapped workforce — and if trends continue toward more political stability, less regulation and increased private investment, it is easy to see why some analysts are so optimistic.
Opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship in Africa might skyrocket in the next decade, but for young adults entering the workforce now, many wonder where the best opportunities are.
Here’s a quick look at some of the countries in Africa that have the lowest unemployment rate.
The West Africa nation of Benin has a population of 10.6 million people. The nation’s unemployment rate was 2.4 percent in 2013. In February 2016, the country started the construction of its first ever digital city, Benin Smart City. The project will create 50,000 jobs.
It is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. Seychelles has a population of about 90, 000 people. It unemployment rate is 2.7 percent. In 2014, the nation adopted new regulations to safeguard and create more jobs for its citizens. This was also aimed at ensuring that locals do not lack jobs due to influx of expatriates. In February 2016, the island adopted the 2016-2020 Country Strategy Paper that is aimed at creating more jobs for the youth and also diversifying its economy. There has also been creation of environment friendly jobs in eco-tourism, sustainable fisheries to increase the jobs in the nation.
It is found in Eastern Africa. Rwanda has a population of 11.34 million people. It has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Africa, at 3.4 percent. About 60 percent of the working population has more than one job. The youth are leading in jobs that are centered on farm occupations. More women are employed than men and employment is high in the rural parts than in the urban places. The government set to ensure an increase in earnings from agricultural products such as coffee and tea. Through the Rwanda National Employment Policy, the government targets the creation of 20,000 jobs yearly. About 70 percent is employed in agriculture.
It is cocoa-producing nation in West Africa. The nation has a population of about 27.2 million people. Its unemployment rate is about 5.20 percent. In May 2015, Microsoft and International Institute of Communication and Development, a non-profit organization started a platform named, TizaaWorks. The aim of the project is to equip graduates and school leavers with the right skills for the various sectors in the nation. The government created the National Youth Service for the university graduates and National Youth Employment Program to help un-employed people get jobs.
It is an island in the Indian Ocean. The country has a population of 1.3 million people. In 2015, unemployment rate was 7.80 percent. The government diversified its economy to reduce over-reliance on its main source of income, tourism. There was increased emphasis on the sugarcane and service industries. The government started initiatives to create 15, 000 jobs yearly. The labor regulations have been amended to protect the employees.
The Mauritius Board of Investment has targeted created 10,000 jobs by 2019, in the island nation’s information and communication sector. This will be achieved through cloud computing, data centers and the mobile applications sectors.
It is the biggest country in Africa. The nation’s unemployment rate was 11.20 percent in 2015. In 2013, the government adopted a policy, ‘Marshall Plan’ that forced companies to hire workers within their locations. Under the plan, recruitment of workers from other locations was only done if the locals did not have the required skills for the jobs.
Young entrepreneurs and unemployed persons wishing to start their own business are able to get interest-free loans, under the plan. Ministries and state parastatals were advised to awards sub-contracting deals to the locals who are in micro-business.
It is a North African country. Egypt is a leading exporter of oil in Africa. The nation’s unemployment rate is 12.77 percent. The government rolled out projects in December 2012 to create 750,000 jobs through micro-projects and youth employment. It also entered into 21 deals with China in the energy, banking and infrastructure sectors that will create more jobs. Online taxi hailing service, Uber provides 2,000 jobs a month.
It is one of the leading economies in North Africa. Its unemployment rate is 15.4 percent. The country has Green Jobs Platform, which is funded by Middle East and North Africa Transition Fund through the Islamic Development Bank at a cost of $3.8 million. The project is aimed at creating jobs university graduates in the North African country. At least 50 start-ups have been created and the Tunisian Solidarity Bank funds individuals with at least $35,000.
It is a landlocked nation in Southern Africa. It has a population of 13 million people. Its unemployment rate is 14.1 percent. About 9.2 million people live in poverty. The government created technical and vocational training schools to help equip Zambians with the skills and also help school leavers to get training in different sectors. This is for both formal and informal employment.
The National Action Plan on Youth Employment was also created to develop frameworks for monitoring youths and creating better jobs. Donor communities have also helped. A project, Youth Skills Enterprise Initiative, meant to provide Zambian youths with capital and opportunities has been set up.
Botswana has a population of about two million people. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Unemployment rate is about 18 percent. The government increased its goods and services exports by 7.2 percent in 2015. The government put in place initiatives to fight unemployment. They include Ipelegeng, a project that hires unskilled people, Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development and Integrated Support Programme for Arable Development.