The growing extent of youth unemployment poses a fundamental challenge for the whole of Africa. In total, around 60 percent of the unemployed are under the age of 25 and young women are especially affected. It is against this backdrop that the Skills Initiative for Africa promotes occupational prospects of young Africans through the support of innovative skills development programs and a close cooperation with the private sector.
It is in response to this huge challenge that the African Union Commission and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), initiated the Skills Initiative for Africa. Execution of this programme is being undertaken by the NEPAD Agency with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale and Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and KfW Development Bank. Its goal is to strengthen the occupational prospects of young people, especially for women and youth from poor areas. Pilot countries were selected to act as multipliers in their respective regions. The pilot countries are Tunisia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya and South Africa.