Twenty-First Century African Youth Movement (AYM) is a nonprofit organization incorporated and based in the United States of America. The main focus of AYM is on Africa with concentration on interventions in Sierra Leone. Liberia, Banjul, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia and South Africa will follow as resources and time permit. The thrust of AYM is to provide a solution to youth unemployment, first in Sierra Leone, and then through other sub-Saharan countries. Our current program design is mainly informed by the need for an appropriate response to the huge unemployment and inactivity facing the vast majority of African youths, many of whom are either out of school or struggling to make ends meet.
Many of the youths in Africa have little or no vocational/technical skills. The lack of employable skills is responsible for the ineffective economic activity many youths in Africa. This excludes them from productive economic and social life. Those with some education often exhibit skills irrelevant to current labor market demands. With increasing educational and skill requirements for participation in the labor market, millions of the African youth are unemployed or underemployed. As a matter of fact, among youths ages 20 – 25, one in three urban youths and one in six rural African youths are either unemployed or underemployed – a condition that is viewed as a strong factor for the slow economic growth and social and political instabilities that still remain as real challenges to the overall development of the majority of the countries in Africa.
To alleviate this, AYM facilitates the increased access to critical resources and opportunities required for enhancing the productivity and relevance of the youths in their communities and countries as well by mobilizing them to make a difference in reversing the social and economic marginalization of Africa to provide decent and sustainable employment opportunities for the huge unskilled and unemployed African youth population in the prioritized countries. This endeavor is also accomplished by engaging the global community through financial generosity and volunteer commitment.
AYM puts premium on country chapters contributing to increased space for reliable youths’ employment opportunities in agricultural-based enterprises, information and communication technology industries, tourism, Education, arts and culture ventures, housing, mining, sustainable rural lighting, transportation, water and sanitation. Through the Social Enterprise and Business Incubator Center concept, AYM also facilitates processes that would have unemployed and underemployed youths trained in vocational and technical skills, business management skills. Here youth gain knowledge of national labour laws required to render them more employable in the emerging social enterprises or better yet, increase their prospect for self-employment. AYM further supports social enterprises to access low interest start-up capital from financial service providers and individual investors.