One thing Ikram El Khadji is not lacking is education. She has a Master’s degree in Information Technology and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. While studying, she served as a Google student ambassador and Women Techmaker, inspiring other young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM.) She has even designed a mobile app to help people build personalized diet programs. So why did El Khadji struggle to find a job?
Africa Rising, But For Who?
Morocco spends about a quarter of its budget on education. However, the youth unemployment rate is 30% in North Africa.
Equally puzzling, by all accounts, Africa is on the rise. Seven of the world’s ten fastest growing economies are in Africa and many believe Morocco is the business “gateway” for the continent. North Africa expects 4 – 5 percent GDP growth by 2020 and 6 – 7 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Experts project a population boom so large that by 2100, 40 percent of the world’s population will be African. The middle class is expected to triple from 150 million people in 2010 to 490 million in 2040. Africa’s workforce is projected to be 1 billion by 2040, the largest in the world. With about 10 million young people entering the labor force every year, youth will make up a large percentage of this.
So why are many young professionals like Ikram not finding jobs?