Mobilizing Africa’s Unemployed and Underemployed Youth

The incidence of youth unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be over 20 percent.   The dynamics and causes of youth unemployment in Africa are complex and multi-dimensional. Youth (between 15 and 25) represent more than 60 percent of the continent’s total population and 45 percent of the full labor force. Unlike other developing regions, sub-Saharan Africa’s population is becoming more youthful, with youth as a proportion of the total population projected at over 75 percent by 2015 due to the high fertility rate underlying the demographic momentum. The expectation is that this increase in youth will not decline before 20 years or more.

Many youths have little or no skills and are therefore primarily excluded from productive economic and social life. Those with some education often exhibit skills irrelevant to the current demand in the labor market, in a situation where education and skills requirements are increasing, resulting in millions of unemployed and underemployed youths.

Twenty-First Century African Youth Movement (AYM) is a youth-focused social entrepreneurship and capacity development charitable organization. We were founded in 1992, AYM, as a global initiative, endeavors to improve the lives of millions of youths in Africa by creating job opportunities and imparting them employable skills.

AYM puts young people on the path to self-sufficiency, economic productivity while fostering community resilience. We engage youth as social change-makers and an active force in the rebuilding and developing war-torn Sierra Leone and throughout Africa. We are currently working in the Jong Chiefdom, Bonthe District partnering with youth to build local community-driven programs and business enterprises.

Mission Statement

Mobilizing Africa’s unemployed and underemployed youth is the key to the continent’s economic growth and stability. AYM works to mobilize marginalized youth through education, training and creates entrepreneurial opportunities to help move communities away from poverty, disease, and hunger. AYM aims to establish personal empowerment and community resilience by energizing its critical youth population as change agents to reverse social, economic marginalization, and stagnation.

Twenty-First Century African Youth Movement (AYM)  exists to facilitate increased access for disadvantaged African youths to critical resources and opportunities required for enhancing their productivity and relevance to their nations and communities.  Our mission is to create jobs and employment for youths in Africa.  We educate and employ young people in technology, agribusiness, eco-tourism, entrepreneurship, and the creative arts to revitalize the country’s potential and bring its population social and political stability.

The organization is an emerging national initiative that will primarily engage youths as change-makers in the rebuilding and development of Sierra Leone through innovative and progressive local community-driven programs and youth-focused enterprises.



  • To empower young people in Africa with knowledge, skills, and other resources to enhance their productivity to increase their chances of sustainable employment.
  • To support young people in Africa imbibe and develop a strong sense of civic responsibility and collective consciousness.
  • To facilitate processes that would have young people in Africa organize and relentlessly pursue peaceful development, justice, and human rights in all of their endeavors.
  • To promote the participation of youths in development work through volunteerism and gainful employment.
  • To empower young people to develop and improve on local initiatives and impact responsible control over natural resources pertinent to them and the communities in which they live.
  • To contribute to the accelerated development of grassroots leadership institutions that promote Youth entrepreneurship, community participation, and civic responsibility.
  • To contribute to the development and promotion of viable youth-centered creative industries in Africa.


Facts About African Youth

With 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, Africa has the youngest population in the world.

Between 2000 and 2008, despite world-topping economic growth rates, and a better-educated youth, Africa created only 16 million jobs for young people aged between 15 and 24.

Today, youth represent 60 percent of the continent’s unemployed, and of these 40 million young people, 22 million have given up on finding a job, many of them women.


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