Sixty percent of the African population is under the age of 35, severe weather events continue to affect lives and livelihoods on a massive scale, and young people constitute a largely untapped and misunderstood resource.
Africa is the continent most susceptible to the effects of climate change in all climatic scenarios over 1.5 degrees Celsius. Despite having contributed the least to global warming and having the lowest emissions, Africa faces exponential collateral damage, posing systemic risks to its economies, infrastructure investments, water and food systems, public health, agriculture, and livelihoods, and threatening to reverse its modest development gains and increase its extreme poverty levels. Youth and women are disproportionately impacted. Climate change poses a significant danger to Africa's ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063, as the United Nations predicts that by 2050, the cost of adapting Africa to climate change might exceed $50 billion annually if the global temperature rise is limited to 2°C over preindustrial levels.
Climate change also provides Africa opportunity to utilize its vast resource potential to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063 objectives. In Africa, addressing climate change will generate considerable market possibilities, particularly for the private sector and institutional investors.
Under the Paris Agreement adopted at COP21, all nations pledged to take concerted action to limit global temperature increases to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. In their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement, African nations have stated ambitious goals to construct climate-resilient and low-carbon economies.
Having signed and ratified the Paris Agreement, virtually all African nations have pledged to strengthen climate action by decreasing their greenhouse gas emissions and increasing their resilience. The continent must urgently adjust to the negative effects of climate change. Many of these pledges, however, are contingent on getting appropriate financial, technical, and capacity-building support.
Our work seeks to but not limited to;
- Advocate for specific capacity building initiatives for youth led organizations on climate change and its long-term implications;
- Ensure youth and youth-led organizations play a role in the development of individual member states AU negotiating statements on climate change;
- Advocate for the adoption of the Country Structural Vulnerability and Resilience Assessments (CSVRA’s) into National Early Warning Mechanisms;
- Support and facilitate the development of African Youth position on climate actions;
- Urge young people to raise ambitions to promote delivery of Nationally Determined Contributions;
- Stand with the AU in demanding countries and companies polluting and deteriorating our planet the most to take the necessary measure to stop.
Africa's best asset is its young people. The number of young people in Africa is growing quickly and is expected to double to more than 830 million by 2050. If this rise in people of working age is used well, it could lead to higher productivity and stronger, more inclusive economic growth on the whole continent. But now, most young people in Africa don't have stable ways to make money.
One-third of Africa's nearly 420 million young people between the ages of 15 and 35 are unemployed and unhappy, another third are working for free, and only one in six is getting paid. The unemployment rate for young people is about twice that of adults, though it varies a lot from country to country. Not only is unemployment a problem, but so is underemployment, which affects just over half of young people in low-income countries who are working.
Not only is unemployment a problem, but so is underemployment, which affects just over half of young people in low-income countries who are working.
Only 3.1 million jobs are created each year, but 10 to 12 million young people enter the workforce. This leaves a lot of young people without jobs. Youth unemployment in Africa has many and serious effects: it makes living conditions worse, makes people want to leave the continent, and makes conflicts worse on the continent itself. Most importantly, youth unemployment shows that the continent isn't making the most of one of its best growth tools: its large and growing population of talented young people. So, there is an urgent need to give young people opportunities, which could have a huge effect. Taking care of the many reasons why young people on the continent are unemployed will help the economy grow for everyone, turning Africa's demographic dividend into an economic one. Most young people who have jobs are working in the informal sector, which has its own problems. When there aren't enough wage jobs, young people are forced into the informal sector, which is thought to make up nearly 80% of jobs in some countries. Even more than other groups, women and young people are more likely to work in the informal sector.
90% of Africa's young people live in countries with low or low-middle incomes, and the biggest problem they face is not having formal jobs. In these countries, only 10–15% of young people who want to work get paid jobs, while 30–50% are vulnerable workers. Upper middle-income countries, on the other hand, like Algeria and South Africa, have jobs with higher wages and less risky work, but they also have high unemployment rates overall, with almost one out of every five young people unemployed.