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Skills Development in Africa: How Wide is the Skills Gap?

Report by Transformify

70% of Africa’s population is under the age of 25 shaping one of the largest untapped talent pools in the world. At the same time, 75% of all university graduates in Kenya and Nigeria are likely to be unemployed for up to 5 years after graduation. What are the drivers behind these figures and why Africa is so polarized when it comes to skills development and unemployment rates?

A closer look at the African countries with the lowest and highest unemployment rates reveals interesting trends. Those countries relying on agriculture or oil production tend to have high unemployment rates and wide skills gaps. Re-skilling and up-skilling a population that has been focused on agriculture for generations is a very slow process. Reaching out to new markets and opportunities requires skills, experience, and networks that are usually developed by those who have studied abroad. Most young people can’t afford to study abroad without government subsidies or scholarships. It is not surprising that the countries with low unemployment rates have adopted programs encouraging continuous education, industry diversification, and skills development.

Statistical data generated by the CSR recruitment platform Transformify sheds light on the distinct skill sets of the people living in numerous African countries.Kenya and Nigeria are of a particular interest for the employers in the UK due to the high percentage of English speakers who have received bachelor’s degree or higher. Post Brexit, many companies in the UK consider distributed teams overseas as an alternative to the shrinking talent pool and high recruitment costs in Britain.

View the full report

About the author

Lilia Stoyanov is the CEO of Transformify, a CSR recruitment platform backed by Virgin, ranking in Startups 100 Index, and a member of the Digital Coalition of the European Commission.

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