In the context of the 21st century global economy, which is centred around knowledge and information, it is critical to tweak education solutions to prepare the youth of Africa for the future of work.


As an entrepreneur, you never stop learning. – Daymond John

Of late, at the conferences and workshops that I have attended, we discussed the issues facing the youth of Africa, especially unemployment.

The youth in Africa struggle to find good jobs, and a lot of them lack the necessary skills for the 21st century.

Over two-thirds of the population of Africa is below the age of 30, which makes the ramifications of high youth unemployment very risky.

For us to address the unemployment situation, we must get to the issue of education. Currently as was depicted by the Arab Spring revolution, having a good education is no guarantee that one will find a good job.

In the context of the 21st century global economy, which is centred around knowledge and information, it is critical to tweak education solutions to prepare the youth of Africa for the future of work.

A viable solution to advancing Africa is entrepreneurship education; this will propel growth and sustainable development.

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There is an increase in the number of innovations in entrepreneurship education – from the African leadership Academy to Noa Ubongo to Rlabs to Andela.

Over 80 per cent of Africa’s economy is informal, which makes radical solutions relevant to the continent.

With the escalation of the growth of entrepreneurship education, there are three key points to work with:

(1) Scale Solutions To Local Problems

With the increased notice of entrepreneurship education, there is a major explosion in the number of budding entrepreneurs and programmes to raise more entrepreneurs, such as incubators and start up competitions. Despite this, it has become apparent that not all entrepreneurial solutions have the potential for high growth. Examples, like Twiga Foods in Kenya and Krystal Digital in Nigeria clarify that it is large-scale problems that call for scalable entrepreneurial solutions.

Krystal Digital’s flagship service, MySkool Portal, a web-based application for School Information Management System founded in 2010 and designed for proper storage and documentation of school data, has been adopted by more than 50 government owned high schools in Nigeria, and has more than 65,000 active student users.

(2) Think Local But Act Global

Entrepreneurs need to view their solution as an entrepreneurial opportunity, especially with technology being superceeding in everything through the internet, mobile technology and social media.

Entrepreneurs should address issues that can be solved by these technologies, while they need to also notice their clients/customers social and economic issues.

For example, financial technology can enable the processing of millions of transactions, but does not solve the issue of providing millions of people with three meals a day. Scalable entrepreneurship needs to deal with the problems in society.

The winners of the World Economic Forum’s first and second editions of the search for Africa’s Top Tech Women Entrepreneurs between 2016 and 2017 were eleven, and from Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and included Musana Carts, which uses frugal innovation to develop environmentally friendly, solar-powered vending carts, and bimaAFYA, a mobile micro-health insurance targeting the low income and informal sector.

(3) Focus on the Informal as the New Normal

In Africa, structured approaches to building businesses don’t work most of the time as the average entrepreneur is part of the hustle economy and is more likely than not, a necessity entrepreneur. What works is uniting conflicting elements to solve problems.

Experimenting with non-formal MBA approaches to entrepreneurial education, which should realise that only a small number of secondary school graduates have access to affordable university education.

Education technology is creating new pathways for learning.

(4) Raise Responsible Entrepreneurs

This is in order to create internal growth and sustainable development in Africa by driving exemplary values and demonstrating the integrity that drives thriving African communities.

Adetola Salau, Carismalife4U@gmail.com, an advocate of STEM education, public speaker, author, and social entrepreneur, is passionate about education reform.