By Daniel Mpala
We have an imperative to pursue the Anzisha Scenario, Junior Achievement CEO Elizabeth Bintliff has said.
ALA’s Anzisha Scenarios green paper proposes tackling youth employment through economic growth, higher levels of education and investment in entrepreneurs of all ages, but with a special focus on very young entrepreneurs.
Bintliff (pictured above), speaking in a panel discussion at the Very Young Entrepreneur Education & Acceleration Summit in Johannesburg last month, pointed to how the number of jobs created each year in Africa has failed to keep track with the number of African youth graduating from school. While 11 million young people graduate every year from schools on the continent, just three million jobs are being created.
She said it took the average young African person about six years to land their first job. As a result young people are becoming entrepreneurs by necessity, because they are unable to find work.
“So, I think the scenario that pursues entrepreneurship, and one in which they are not just job takers is one that we have no option but to pursue. Because that is really, I think, in my view and in my experience, that’s what’s going to close the gap to create the future that we want in terms of employability on the continent,” she added.
African Network of Entrepreneurs founder and CEO Ekow Mensah said the emphasis should be put on more than just creating jobs. Important, too, is to bring about a change in mindset that will see parents and other stakeholders view entrepreneurship as one of the many options that their children can pursue.
“I want us to get to the point where there is a general acceptance that this is a path that we can take and when we get that support from home, or get that support from the community or get that support from people that matter to us, it boosts our confidence to want to go on this journey,” said Mensah.
Important too, he added, is that young people understand that they should not only restrict themselves to building careers or finding jobs within established enterprises, but also look to working in startups and small businesses.
Featured image: Junior Achievement CEO Elizabeth Bintliff