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To promote quality education and skills development, innovative research, and lifelong learning opportunities for Africa’s socio-economic transformation.


In the 2023 United Nations Report, Secretary-General Mr. Antonio Guterres admits that only 12% of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are currently on track to be achieved by 2030. The report emphasizes that, without a significant increase in efforts, it is unlikely that all the goals will be accomplished by the set deadline. Particularly of concern is Goal 8, which emphasizes inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. The realization of this goal seems unattainable for many African countries, as the current youth unemployment rate is over 30% in many sub-Saharan African countries.

Meanwhile, the United Nations projects Africa's population to reach 2.5 billion by 2050. This means that nearly one-third of the world's population would be on the Continent of Africa in less than three decades. What does this mean for African governments? Studies by the International Labour Organization suggest that nearly 13 million young people in Africa are unemployed, with more than one in four young people either not in employment, education, or training. Two-thirds of these individuals are women. While most of these young people would like to work, they face multidimensional challenges in searching for and obtaining jobs.

With such a burgeoning youth population, Africa is currently at a crossroad. Despite its demographic advantage, the Continent continues to face significant challenges in education and skill development for employability. This scenario undoubtedly calls for collective thinking and action by African governments and all stakeholders to appropriately equip the youth and adults with relevant skills for employment, decent jobs, and entrepreneurship opportunities.

For this reason, the ESDEV Foundation Africa initiated the ARC-EDS to promote quality education and skill development, innovative research, and lifelong learning opportunities for Africa's socio-economic transformation. The Foundation believes that Africa's projected population growth must be viewed as "alarm bells" for governments and all stakeholders to urgently initiate policy interventions at all levels to address the socio-economic and environmental sustainability dimensions associated with this phenomenon.

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