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APRI report explores how African governments can use technology to spur green growth and youth employment 

The Africa Policy Research Institute (APRI), in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has recently released a comprehensive report that provides valuable insights into the use of technology by African governments to promote both green growth and youth employment. This report delves into the existing gaps and potential opportunities for implementing green technology policies and programs that can effectively engage and benefit the continent’s young population. 

Watch the report launch webinar that includes an expert panel discussion on the main report findings featuring Dr. Eunice Muthengi, Director of Program and Strategic Research at the Mastercard Foundation, Dr. Fadekunayo Adeniyi, Climate Change and Green Growth Consultant at the African Development Bank, and Mwayi Kampesi, CEO and Founder of Planet Green Africa.

One of the highlights in the report is the need for greater integration of youth employment and entrepreneurship within green tech initiatives and policies. The Startup Act in Senegal exemplifies the growing emphasis on entrepreneurship in country-specific legislation.  

Additionally, numerous donor-funded programs in Africa prioritize entrepreneurship as a means to address youth unemployment. Several prominent organizations are listed in the report which are actively involved in supporting initiatives that promote sustainable youth employment opportunities through the implementation of green technology. A few examples are: 

  • The Green Jobs initiative in Zambia aims to foster sustainable businesses in the growing green housing market by: (i) influencing attitudes, practices, and behaviours to highlight the benefits of green buildings and the potential for job creation, (ii) engaging with government and parastatal institutions at a policy level to encourage regulatory reforms that promote green building practices among both private and public housing developers. This also involves supporting the establishment of a Green Building Association, and (iii) enhancing the capabilities of private sector associations and service providers, with a focus on improving access for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This capacity building effort aims to strengthen their involvement in the green housing sector. 
  • Tanzania’s ILO’s long-standing Start-and-Improve-Your-Business programme has produced sector-specific adaptations of its business development training materials like green construction and waste management. 
  • Habitat for Humanity in Kenya aims to green the construction sector in Kenya and beyond. In Kenya, it has partnered with three local green technology companies – Gjenge Makers, MycoTile and The Toolkit iSkills. Habitat works with local TVET institutions and the industry to establish certification standards for general and green skills in the construction industry. 

These initiatives aim to equip enterprises and individuals with the necessary skills to establish and expand their businesses.  

While global youth employment and entrepreneurship programs typically concentrate on sectors like agriculture, construction, energy, waste, and water, it is worth noting that the construction industry and building projects receive more attention in youth employment programs compared to the overall focus on green technology policies and programs. 

In particular, the report emphasizes the significant potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in developing climate-smart solutions for greener economies.  

When it comes to green technology and youth employment, there are specific findings that are applicable to a subset of African countries: 

  • ICT and green skills are a focus of Uganda’s National Development Plan III and Ghana’s National Medium-Term Development Policy Framework;  
  • Within Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda, the focus on agriculture and rural development includes some interventions, including linking agricultural technologies and ICTs, climate-smart agricultural practices and investing in agro-processing (the manufacturing side of agriculture). Other measures include supporting green entrepreneurship in sectors and activities such as Renewable Energy, Waste Management and Recycling. 

This scoping report underscores the importance of further linking this sector, which has witnessed remarkable advancements in recent decades and attracts young individuals, who are interested in this sector. By doing so, Africa can harness the power of technology to drive sustainable development and create a brighter future for its youth. 

DOWNLOAD the full report here.

Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown
Lynn is a content marketer that focuses on brand storytelling through digital platforms. Skilled in a background of web development, search engine optimization and content production, Lynn is excited to utilize over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing to help grow the ecosystems that support Africa’s very young entrepreneurs to ensure their success.

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