South Africa’s Growth Depends On Its Youth

By Africa.com

According to the World Economic Forum, Africa will be home to a billion youth by 2050. South Africa alone has a youth population of 20.6 million, making up 35.7 percent of the country’s total population of about 57.7 people.

But even though a youthful population presents a significant opportunity in promoting the growth and advancement of any economy, factors such as disparity in educational quality and poverty, among others pose a huge risk in Africa.

In South Africa, unemployment has left thousands of youth feeling hopeless. This has largely been attributed to a slow-growing economy, which is struggling to create opportunities for those looking to break into the labour market.

According to Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate among this age group was 55.2 percent in the 1st quarter of 2019. Among graduates in this age group, the unemployment rate was 31.0 percent during this period compared to 19.5 percent in the 4th quarter of 2018 – an increase of 11,4 percent.

In order to address this, the South African government is adopting more strategies to secure a brighter future for its youth. During the 2019 World Economic Forum in January, South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that the country would be investing in more programmes to equip youth in schools and colleges with digital skills that will boost their future employment prospects, thereby growing the economy. At the recent State of the Nation Address, the president announced that he has secured R840bn in funding towards job creation. While this is a welcome relief particularly for South Africa’s youth, the emphasis should be on closing the skills gap considering that the world of work is changing due to continuous technological advancements.

For instance, according to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2019 Survey , 78 percent of executives in South Africa predict significant disruption in the next three years. With the threat of new competition, technology transformation and rising customer expectations as top drivers of industry disruption, it’s no wonder that a majority of executives believe more than 20% of current jobs will cease to exist by 2022. edX’s 2018 survey findings reveal that employees will require a hybrid set of skills in technical, future-ready leadership and essential power in the new digital economy.

However, there are significant human capital risks – from the inability to close the skills gap to low engagement – that can slow the progress of digital transformation. With many graduates leaving school without the desired skillsets that could make them employable by companies at home or abroad, it creates uncertainty. While initiatives such as the Youth Employment Service (a collaboration between government, business and labour) offer a great opportunity for paid quality work experience for a million unemployed youth, skills gap remains a critical risk for companies to adapt in the new digital economy. As such, more organisations should rethink their strategies in preparing for the workforce of the future in order to accelerate their growth plans.

Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2019 survey highlights the importance of skill diversity and overall change in the way that work is delivered. In leveraging against the backdrop of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in securing economic opportunities and growth, human skills, such as complex problem solving, inclusive leadership, social collaboration, remain essential to digital transformation.

African youth are among the most talented people in the world. Quick to learn and highly motivated, they also have the ability to work under pressure, while developing vibrant ideas that could be massively transformative when given guidance. Once they are able to receive adequate training to help them seize those opportunities, everything changes. Avenues to employment such as entrepreneurship open up, and attitudes towards work change. Economic growth improves and everyone in the society benefits.

With this in mind, organisations should look at where to find future talent, how to access and build critical capabilities in order to capitalize on the booming youth population in South Africa and the rest of Africa. As this generation desires flexibility and mobility – they’re not looking for a long rewarding career with one firm, but rather a series of rewarding opportunities that offer personal and professional satisfaction. With a deeper understanding of their particular needs, wants and motivations, as well as the advice they value, organisations can design a talent value proposition that appeals to our youth.

With hybrid skillsets gaining strength in 2019, South Africa requires greater collaboration between government, business and labour in keeping up with the rapidly changing skill demand of jobs today. In a world of disruption, South Africa, and the rest of Africa, can capitalize on unpredictable market trends by unlocking the potential opportunities presented by a booming youth population. Investing in Africa’s youth will ensure that we solve some of today’s challenges to create rewarding and more secure futures for our continent.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Mercer.

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Opinion: Fasihah Hasan: Angry youth will save SA

By Citizen.co.za (Simnikiwe Hlashaneni)

Millenials have a more urgent and immediate purpose to change what is wrong in South Africa.

‌Young radicalism is the future of democratic social justice, if the new wave of young political activists becoming lawmakers is anything to go by.

And for “born-free” politician Fasihah Hassan, who was acclaimed for her role during the nationwide youth revolt for free tertiary education, an angry and impatient youth is the best thing for South Africa’s democracy.

Born to United Democratic Front (UDF) activist parents at the dawn of democracy in 1994, Hassan says she and her peers have a different and necessary perspective on the ills that face the country. It’s the more urgent and immediate sense of purpose that drove the #FeesMustFall movement.

“The world is not a fair place and it’s our job to make it more fair. But once you understand that the world is unfair you understand that all that anger you have is important, but it needs to be channelled,” she says.

‌Speaking just days before her inauguration as an ANC member of the Gauteng legislature, Hassan says making the transition from student activist to politician, to policy maker has not been an easy road to travel.

“It has been a long and difficult journey which people don’t see. People see the front of the house. They don’t see what’s going on behind the scenes back in the kitchen, so to speak. But I seriously believe the kind of student activism we were doing before and during #FeesMustFall has played a huge role in shaping how I think and deal with the issues.”

As an ANC Youth League branch leader herself, Hassan is not afraid to criticise the organisation that moulded her, saying it was necessary for change in the ANC to be driven from within.

“The difficulty with the older generation is that they see the issues, but they would rather only bring it up internally. Whereas with us, as much as we have a sense of belonging in the ANC, it doesn’t prevent me from criticising where I have seen wrong.”

And with the layers and layers of internal structures, age groups and the gender factor, a young woman might not have risen so quickly into leadership in the ANC 10 years ago, but the ANC elders are beginning to hear young people, Hassan says. She admits that some of the youth disillusionment at the ANC evidenced in the last two elections could be attributed to the weakening of the ANCYL over the past decade.

However, she says channels for young people to be heard within the mother body have improved and have put young women in more meaningful platforms, such as the Young Women’s Desk.

South Africa: National Youth Development Agency Applauds President Cyril Ramaphosa On Appointment of Cabinet

By Gcis.gov.za

PRESS RELEASE

National Youth Development Agency applauds President Ramaphosa on appointment of Cabinet

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) applauds His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa on the appointment of cabinet for the 6th administration.

The agency expresses confidence in the men and women appointed at various portfolios. Importantly, we welcome the appointment of the NYDA Executive Deputy Chairperson, Ms Bavelile Hlongwa as the Deputy Minister of Minerals and Energy. Her appointment is a vote of confidence on the NYDA and the work done by the 3rd Board of Directors.

Executive Chairperson of the NYDA, Mr Sifiso Mtsweni has applauded President Ramaphosa and said that “The appointment of younger Ministers and Deputy Ministers is a sign of a responsive government to the call made by the agency to have youth at the helm of decision-making structures”.

“To us the Ministry of Employment and Labour will give necessary impetus to the fight against high rates of unemployment, in particular when it comes to the youth, unemployed graduates and in general. We are hopeful that the Ministry will take to task both the public and private sectors on job creation, retention and the employment of a youthful workforce”.

“We welcome and support the President’s inclusion and vivid expression of youth as part of the Ministry of Women, Youth and People with Disabilities. It is our view that this will enable better management of youth development affairs across society” added Mtsweni

Issued by: National Youth Development Agency

#AfricaDay: Africa Home to Vast Opportunities for South American Youth

By iol.co.za (PHUMLA WILLIAMS)

We continue to see the role of media and communication as central to what we all are striving for in the continent.

We owe it to ourselves to make the continent a success story. The more we trust each other with direct investments the more we are likely to grow and attract foreign direct investments to our continent.

There is something poetic in the fact that South Africa’s Presidential inauguration falls on 25 May, which is also Africa Day. On this day in 1963 all independent African states set aside their differences to form an organisation now known as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

South Africa was one of the last nations to join this organisation which then became the venue for the birth of the African Union in 2002.

In the midst of organising the Presidential inauguration, Government Communication and Information System hosted an African Press Attachés Round Table on 22 May 2019 at Tshedimosetso House, the seat of government communication.

This gathering was in line with the resolutions of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Communication and ICT which, amongst others, seeks to promote the work and achievements of integration and inter continental trading as Africans.

This engagement brought together Africa’s Press Attachés and editors from across the African continent based in South Africa, as well as press officers under the AU banner.

As we reflected on the continents priorities, we noted how far we have come.

The dramatic rise of African members states as a significant trading block to our country, overtaking Europe in 2013 and on par with Asia since 2014, is a clear indication that South Africa’s prosperous future is intertwined with the continent’s future.

The economic adviser to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ms Trudi Makhaya illustrated how InvestSA is actively collaborating with Investment Promotion Agencies on the continent and have signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Kenyan Investment Authority, the Uganda Investment Authority and GAFI in Egypt.

The intention is to foster closer collaboration between these agencies in attracting Foreign Direct Investments to the continent.

Our commitments to the vision of Pan Africanists including, Nkhrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Sekou Toure of Guinea and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, find voice in the growing partnerships between fellow nations on the continent. The implementation of this vision is well illustrated by a series of developments across Africa.

Ms Makhaya informed us that intra-Africa Investments have been growing at a compound rate of 32.5%. This is impressive! Africa’s rising population market of 1.2 Billion people is compelling, our story of an integrated Africa with a gross domestic product of more than US$ 3.4 trillion is remarkable.

We as African communicators ought to tell the stories, and inform our youth of the vast opportunities that are available across Africa.

Knowledge is power and this was reflected in the presentation of Mr Thulani Mavuso, the Acting Director-General of Home Affairs, on innovations which promote and ensure that Africans have free movement to trade, to study and to live in South Africa. The web based e-Home Affairs system is truly easy, efficient and secure. These interventions have now improved the facilitation of people, movement and goods, making it easier for African Tourists, business and academia to come to South Africa.

During the interaction discussions focussed on the important role that communicators, in partnership with the media can play to shape perceptions of our continent. In today’s world, perception has a price.

What is perceived to be real often takes on a life of its own and if we do not promote our continent, its virtues and opportunities we risk opening the door and allowing misperceptions to take hold.

As we commemorate Africa Day with President, Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa we should take pride in our achievements as a continent whilst bearing in mind that more needs to be done to realise the full vision of the founding fathers of the AU.

Since its formation, the African Union has strived to build a better, more united and prosperous continent.

The organisation has shifted its focus to ensure economic emancipation and socio-economic development in Africa. It currently leads the promotion of regional and market integration that will see the lowering of transport costs, enable the free movement of goods, services and people, and encourage the optimisation of resources.

We dare not rest until all who call Africa home are empowered to build a better tomorrow, free from injustice, inequality and unemployment.

South Africa: Teens to fly Cape to Cairo in a plane they assembled

By iOL.co.za (MERCURY REPORTER)

An epic adventure in the form of an aviation challenge promoting and supporting innovation, technology and entrepreneurship will see 20 teenagers embark on a Cape-to-Cairo-and-back excursion in a self-assembled Sling-4 aircraft.

The aircraft uses ordinary motor fuel and was built in just three weeks.

The excursion, earmarked to start next month, will see different teams of the 20 teenagers pilot and charter a course that will cut across several African cities and towns, spreading the key messages of an African narrative that started as a dream.

Teen pilot, author and motivational speaker Megan Werner, sparked by her passion to inspire, founded U Dream Global Foundation to uplift, empower, equip and transform the lives of thousands of youth throughout Africa and the world by “dreaming and achieving the impossible as well as succeeding beyond expectations”.

“The challenge has enabled us to take a lot of teenagers from different backgrounds and to teach and equip them with life skills that they can take with them into the future.

“Throughout Africa, we are hoping to do similar initiatives affecting thousands of youths who are the future of the continent,” said Megan.

Megan and various teen co-pilots are now set to chart a course across Africa to visit towns and cities in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt, and a return trip that will include Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.

Pupils assemble the Sling-4 aircraft, which they plan to fly from Cape Town to Cairo and back on an epic journey next month.

Voluntary support for logistical aspects of the flight is being provided by CFS, ExecuJet, Worldfuel and Mike Blyth, the founder of The Airplane Factory – the enterprise that designed and built the original Sling plane series.

Using specially modified, self-made drones, the challenge will be documented on video.

Six teenage pilots will take turns to fly the plane as the challenge moves from country to country.