The overarching goal in Africa must be to create a single political and economic community that enables and facilitates African aspirations. This goal is not only to create a unified African continent, but also to remove the majority of socioeconomic and political barriers that have held us back.
It is critical to protect the “mode of production” and increase the population’s access to benefits. As important as progress toward the ultimate goal is, urgent local problems must be resolved as soon as possible. One of the necessities that we will not have time to address thoroughly is the level of deprivation in our communities.
To effectively address these challenges, a number of divergent points of view must be reconciled and a coherent strategy developed. The primary focus should be on how African countries’ national comprehensive development plan can help create significant job opportunities. This indirectly contributes to poverty-reduction efforts.
The success of such initiatives is dependent on their ability to work together within a unified continental policy framework.
Massive unemployment and economic stagnation cannot be addressed in isolation because the problems are intertwined and the solutions must be global in scope. This means that our youth will be able to travel across the continent and capitalize on entrepreneurial opportunities as a result of these policy frameworks.
Such initiatives necessitate the collaboration of numerous stakeholders, beginning with basic sub-regional deployments and progressing to sophisticated continental arrangements.
Activities can be developed to encourage young people to interact with one another and to foster a sense of entrepreneurship. Exposing young Africans to as many different environments as possible is an important way to groom and empower them to make the most of their opportunities and overcome obstacles.
For young Africans to realize their full potential and broaden their worldview, they must thoroughly investigate all available opportunities. To avoid wishful thinking and maximize the continental population dividend for the benefit of the young, a well-thought-out, coordinated, strategic plan is required.
For all objectives, including those with short, medium, and long-term, it is critical to thoroughly describe the basic concept. These plans must be accompanied by both macro and micro elements at the national and regional levels for these strategies to be successful.
Land policy, free movement of people and goods, and border management are all issues that require a macro perspective. Trade regulation, residency, data management, labor legislation, banking sector facilities, and liberalization are critical at the micro level among African nations.
While access to land is critical, it is one of many resources that, with a few notable exceptions, remain a complex, unresolved problem in Africa.
A continental policy framework, in my opinion, is the most effective tool for resolving land disputes because it advocates for the centralization of power over landholdings within the state.
Because land is best evaluated not only from an ownership standpoint but also from a productivity standpoint, ownership of land does not automatically guarantee success if it is not put to productive use in the right way.
Aside from that, despite the continent’s abundant arable land, the continent is currently experiencing severe food shortages and insecurity.
The failure is primarily the result of our approach to the land issue, which does not prioritize economic development and environmental protection. Instead, we are only interested in the political and emotional aspects of the land issue.
The method proposed here would help to prevent improper land use and the politicization of otherwise non-political issues. Thus, leasing property to potential farmers with a comprehensive approach will be a strategy that benefits all parties involved.
Similarly, the leasing agreements will apply to existing commercial farms, taking into account the land’s location and potential yield. Productivity, employment, food security, and reasonable taxation are ultimately required. Expanding tax opportunities will help fund a variety of social projects.
The question of how African governments can use such a strategy to create appropriate employment opportunities for young people and a more secure future for all will remain to be seen.
In Africa, unemployment is a major issue that threatens to explode at any time, disrupting social order and endangering the country’s very existence. Even if the magnitude varies by country, no African country is immune to these occurrences.
As recently as yesterday, it would have been possible to take coordinated action and a deliberate approach.
The two main obstacles, in my opinion, are the difficulty of focusing on a manageable number of potential business areas and, second, the reliance on governments as the sole providers of solutions.
The private sector, non-state actors, and educational institutions all play a minor role in creating new job opportunities. This is due, in part, to a lack of collaboration between the business sector and academic institutions in balancing supply and demand and creating new job opportunities.
More importantly, the beneficiaries, recent college graduates, are fixated on the traditional job rather than exploring alternative methods that could produce spectacular results. Some government job recommendations are shockingly unrealistic, such as waitering or operating a tuck store, which only translates to the service industry.
While there are tens of thousands of new and unexplored opportunities across the continent, each African country has its own set of advantages.
Entrepreneurship development is not so much rocket science as it is the ability to recognize opportunities “outside the box.” Africa has a lot of untapped potential in the form of hundreds of kosher business ideas. How do you see today’s youth contributing to society?
While access to the rest of Africa’s market is still limited, there are several niches in the domestic market. These issues are intertwined like dominoes, and Africa is closing in on itself like a prison wall while remaining accessible to the developed world.
In the face of such adversity, how can we expect young people to be resourceful and innovative?
Combating poverty is a difficult task that necessitates an integrated approach. Because Africa’s poverty is structural and systemic, it cannot be solved solely through national policies; it is, in some ways, linked to the global economic order, which is dominated by a small group of countries.
More in-depth studies of structure and agency are required as part of the solution.
However, in most African countries, a lack of proper authority and a scarcity of experienced civil servants create bottlenecks in policy implementation rather than in policy frameworks themselves.
If we are to succeed in our pursuit of the more significant goal, we must also pay close attention to the steps in front of us.
Poverty, unemployment, and inequality are all popular buzzwords in South Africa because they are synonymous or inseparable. The time has come to start addressing these issues.
Because the industrialized world has social security systems in place to cushion the blow of unemployment, this issue does not pose a significant disruption to the overall system. However, because Africa lacks a mitigation mechanism, this issue requires special attention lest it derail the entire system.
We desperately need a debate that is both heated and productive, and it should progress toward a comprehensive solution.
There is no doubt that by working together, Africa can solve many of its problems, including poverty and unemployment on the continent. Such an argument, in my opinion, will pave the way to a more united and prosperous Africa.
(Seife Tadelle Kidane is a (PhD) senior research fellow at the Institute for Pan African Thought and Conversation, University of Johannesburg.)
Contributed by Seife Tadelle