High Youth Unemployment Opens Door to Political Instability: AfDB Report

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Using statistical analysis, this African Development Bank’s publication titled ‘Youth Unemployment and Political Instability in Selected Developing Countries’ shows that in a given context, an exceptionally high youth unemployment rate makes African countries more prone to political instability. The authors studied a sample of 24 developing countries from the period 1980 to 2010. They found that in Africa, youth unemployment is made worse by a large youth population, weak national labor markets and persistent poverty.

African countries have some of the highest proportions of young people among its populations: on average 30 per cent are under the age of 30. Although the continent has shown economic growth, it has failed in creating the number of quality jobs needed to absorb the 10-12 million young people entering the labour market each year in Africa. Recent events in North Africa have highlighted the need for inclusive growth in Africa and have exposed some of the challenges countries can face when tackling high unemployment.

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