It Is Not Lack Of Education: It Is Lack Of Clarity That Literate African Youths Suffer

Even though half of Africa’s population is below the age of 25, the abundance of youths has yet to translate to significant progress on the continent. Africa still has a whopping unemployment rate of 77%. Nigeria – according to Statista, gulps a depressing 32.5% of that, and may even increase further by 2022. But what does this mean in real figures? Well, 33% in Nigeria would amount to about 25 million of about 70 million employable people. Though experts continue to argue percentages, the figures – no matter the discrepancies, always translates to an average of 25 million educated Nigerians that are without jobs. This figure appears too great to be ignored. It clearly shows that education alone cannot solve unemployment. While keeping records is good, not many delve into the root causes; those that do completely miss the point. 

The unemployment scourge in any economy is always two-faceted: what policies and programs the presiding Governments or leaders initiate to alleviate the plight of their constituents; and what these constituents themselves can do. Sometimes the Government may provide support through education to a people bereft of strategy. The intended value generation, therefore, would always seep through the porosity of rudderless followership.

The ability for citizens to convert opportunities into realistic gain requires that the problem is defined properly. This primarily entails asking the right questions: Is there clarity about what pathways exist? Which direction or path should then be taken? Are the participants well-equipped for the specific path? These three questions of clarity, direction, and skills – according to ‘itrainafrica’, are the ingredients that give life to education. In fact, some might argue that if these three ingredients exist in an uneducated person, they might fare better than an educated one that lacks them.

Being clear about the options, opportunities, risks, and setbacks that characterize every endeavor is always the first step to effective positioning. When educated people tend to skip fields and change careers, it is partly due to a lack of clarity. Even when they remain in a single carrier, they have no clear picture of the dynamics in that field and what complementary fields are available for branching out. Without clarity, any direction taken is – at its worst, misinformed; at best, uninformed.

Direction is a tad deeper. It delves into the specific choices that would then be made based on the big picture that is formed from the vast information obtained. It outlines roadmaps to specific achievements. It is essentially a plan. This planning process is largely lacking in the life projects of many literates. Sometimes literates that seem to have direction may have missed the first stage of ‘clarity’ partly because they lacked guidance. Addressing ‘guidance’ – to avoid a lengthy piece, will be discussed in subsequent articles.

Skills are divided into hard and soft. They serve as the vehicle for the plan. A recent article in the Punch Newspaper unequivocally stated: “lack of soft skills among Nigerian graduates” as largely responsible for their in-employability. Communication, Time Management, Teamwork, and Stress Management all constitute soft skills. They may seem unimportant to the layman but they are critical in self-development and opportunity creation. Hard skills on the other hand are the tangible technical expertise acquired for value creation. The lack of this has made the African youth educationally malnourished,

With these ingredients, opportunities can then be made possible for the literate African youth either through entrepreneurial enterprise or a career jumpstart. Though the statistics leave out the illiterate unemployed, these issues – if properly tackled, could directly rescue a large portion of the 25million literates. Then its ripple effect could very well indirectly slice out a chunk of illiterate unemployment.

Written By Leslie Amangala

1 thought on “It Is Not Lack Of Education: It Is Lack Of Clarity That Literate African Youths Suffer”


    This is the very moment I have been waiting for. As a GBV survivor who become a permanent disabled person because of traditions and customs that favor mostly men and women are just taken for granted., I hope I will be full equiped with potential issues and ideas from all over.

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