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The future of jobs and skills in Africa: Preparing the region for the fourth industrial revolution

Education and work in Sub-Saharan Africa will determine the livelihoods of nearly a billion people in the region and drive growth and development for generations to come. As one of the youngest populations in the world, it is imperative that adequate investments are made in education and learning that holds value in the labour market and prepares citizens for the world of tomorrow. In addition, as the global transformation of work unfolds in Africa, policymakers, business leaders and workers must be prepared to proactively manage this period of transition. At the World Economic Forum, we seek to support leaders and the public by sharing the latest insights on the changes underway. This Executive Briefing on the Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa uses the latest available data, including through a research partnership with LinkedIn, to provide a concise overview of the region’s education, skills and jobs agenda. In addition to providing insights on current trends and future projections, the World Economic Forum also aims to provide a platform for multi-stakeholder collaboration to close skills gaps and prepare for the future of work. The Africa Skills Initiative serves as such a platform, consolidating the latest insights, bringing together different businesses’ efforts to address future-oriented skills development and supporting constructive public-private dialogue for urgent and fundamental reform of education systems and labour policies to prepare workforces for the future of jobs. This Executive Briefing is intended as a practical guide for leaders from business, government, civil society and the education sector to plan for the needs of the future, including those involved in the Africa Skills Initiative. It is also a call to action to the region’s leaders to address urgently the reforms that are needed today to ensure that Africa’s young people can harness the new opportunities that are coming their way.