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Not Just Statistics: Why We Need to Overcome Youth Unemployment in Nigeria


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Nigeria’s youth represents both a formidable promise and a pressing challenge. With nearly two-thirds of our 220 million people under the age of 25, the future of Nigeria as a nation and a key player on the African continent indisputably hinges on its young population. However, high rates of unemployment and underemployment are stifling this potential, creating a scenario that demands urgent and innovative solutions. Empowering the youth is not just an economic imperative but also a necessity for their active political and social engagement.

The Youth Unemployment Crisis

Nigeria’s youth population is at a crossroads, embodying both hope and concern. This demographic dividend holds the potential to drive economic growth and social progress, yet it remains largely untapped. The recent elections underscored the political significance of this group, with half of the 93.5 million eligible voters under the age of 35. Despite this, unemployment and underemployment among young people are alarmingly high.

The World Bank reported an unemployment rate of 13.4% in 2022, while the National Bureau of Statistics provided an even grimmer estimate of 53.4%. These figures are more than mere statistics; they are a harbinger of social disenchantment, unrest, and the underutilization of human capital, all of which threaten national stability and prosperity. Furthermore, underemployment—where individuals hold seasonal or short-term positions without financial stability—exacerbates the problem, leading to widespread disillusionment and broader societal implications such as rising crime rates and political instability.

Strategic Interventions: Nigeria and Germany Collaborating

To address these challenges, it is crucial to empower Nigeria’s youth and strategically invest in their skills and labour market access. Germany, with its wealth of experience and expertise in vocational training and job placement services, can play a pivotal role in this endeavor. Here are three key areas where Nigeria and Germany can cooperate to make a significant impact:

  1. Skills Development

Establishing vocational training centres and opportunities tailored to the current needs and trends of local and regional industries is vital. Germany’s successful vocational training system can serve as a model for Nigeria, helping to design effective solutions that align with the specific demands of the Nigerian market. Additionally, focusing on STEM education and investing in accessible digital learning platforms and technological infrastructure can ensure that educational programs are in sync with industry requirements.

  1. Supporting Young Entrepreneurs

Harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerian youth involves providing necessary funding and resources for their business aspirations. Germany and Nigeria should collaborate on creating funding opportunities, including seed funding and network programs that offer mentorship and access to global markets. Emphasizing green and sustainable business practices will also support the transition to clean energy, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable agriculture, fostering a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.

  1. Promoting Political Participation and Youth Governance

Young voters already constitute a significant voting bloc in Nigeria, and their influence will only grow. Collaborative efforts between Nigeria and Germany can enhance youth participation in politics through exchange programs between youth leaders and youth parliaments, emphasizing democratic values and practices. Models that prioritize youth representation and engagement in politics should be at the forefront of these initiatives, ensuring that young voices are heard and valued in the political arena.

Khalil Sulieman Halilu: A Beacon of Hope and Change

In this enduring challenge, Khalil Sulieman Halilu has integrated and dedicated himself to uplifting young people in Nigeria, especially in the areas of technology and entrepreneurship. Through his work at the KSH Foundation, he hopes to catalyze tangible change by providing young minds with the tools they need to succeed. Khalil’s work doesn’t just focus on innovation but also on carving a pathway for young people to have the tools and resources to grow. Projects like The CANs hub and the Zabe election monitoring system show Khalil’s commitment to using technology for social good and progress.

By addressing youth unemployment through strategic collaboration and innovative solutions, we can unlock the immense potential of Nigeria’s young population, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future.

Jamal Thompson
Jamal Thompsonhttps://twitter.com/thompson_j92308
As the Economics Writer for CEO Scoop Magazine, Jamal Thompson delves into the intricacies of global economic developments. Armed with a degree in economics and a sharp analytical mind, Jamal crafts engaging articles that decode economic theories and their real-world impact. His work not only informs but also sparks thoughtful discussions about the forces shaping our financial future.


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