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Nonprofits Spearhead Economic Opportunities for Youth in Africa

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Olalekan Adigun
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Nonprofits Spearhead Economic Opportunities for Youth in Africa

The Financial Times' Thriving Cities series has launched its second season, shedding light on the pivotal role that non-profit organizations are playing in creating economic opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled youths in Africa. The focus of this season is the transformative impact of technology, particularly its role in fostering remote work possibilities for young individuals in informal urban settlements within Kenya.

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Non-Profits at the Forefront of Change

Non-profit entities like Team4Tech are stepping in to fund training programs aimed at aiding low-income individuals in securing jobs, including remote positions on a global scale. Team4Tech's efforts are mirrored by organizations like the Next Steps Foundation, which provides training for young people with disabilities in Tanzania and Kenya. The goal is to integrate them into the digital workforce, providing them with opportunities they might otherwise not have.

Challenges and Opportunities in Urban Education

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Despite the strides made, challenges persist. A lack of social skills among graduates, for instance, can hinder their employability. In response, urban education programs are gaining traction, specifically targeting poverty and enhancing the long-term emotional and physical well-being of participants. World Vision is one such entity, shifting its focus from rural agricultural projects to urban initiatives geared towards supporting youth entrepreneurship.

Looking to the Future of Work

The FT series promises to delve deeper into the relationship between well-being, education, and employment programs across different countries. The significance of job creation for young people was underscored at a recent conference in Addis Ababa. Advocacy groups like the World Health Organization's European Healthy Cities Network are pushing for inclusive economic growth and workforce well-being. The World Bank, too, emphasizes the need for investment in human capital and relevant skills training.

Despite the many benefits of technology, concerns remain over job security and the mental stress associated with certain tech roles. The labor market also grapples with the unpredictability and challenges posed by automation and artificial intelligence (AI), making it crucial to develop skills that are adaptable and resistant to automation.

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