Education and employment opportunity for all

Overcoming inequalities through inclusive socioeconomic development

High-level panel - Auditorium
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
14:30 to 16:00

All forms of inequalities – social, economic, health and cultural – are closely related to the issues of unemployment, lack of access to quality education and wealth creation. Inequalities linked to skills, education and labour markets have determining consequences at both the micro and macro levels. They prevent individuals from fulfilling their potential to create wealth and live healthy lives. In Africa, it is vital to boost  skills development and access to decent jobs. Also vital is to promote entrepreneurial capacities to promote long-lasting, inclusive economic growth and social cohesion. This session will discuss the best instruments to eradicate barriers to access to quality education and job creation by addressing the structural factors that underpin unemployment and sustain inequalities. 

Key points

  • Identify the barriers standing in the way of people’s access to education.
  • Promote circular migration and see Africa as an investment opportunity.
  • Address the skills mismatch by mapping the skills needed against the skills taught.
  • Ensure that what is taught in schools is what the market needs in the future.


According to a World Bank report, learning levels are alarmingly low in Africa and this severe learning crisis is hampering economic development. When people have access to education, they can start to overcome poverty. It is essential to identify the barriers that hamper people’s access to education. Issues such as lack of adequately trained teachers, poor conditions in schools, difficulties accessing education, for example, for children living in rural areas, need to be examined in detail and solutions identified. Europe and Africa need to develop a common ambition to solve youth unemployment problems. Senegal is trying to move forward with circular migration policies – policies that allow talent to move back and forth between the two continents more easily. Easier access to visas and residence cards will help that circular migration process. There is a vibrant younger generation in Africa who are increasingly well trained and who have the capacity to transform the continent’s economies and turn Africa into a big investment opportunity. There is a skills mismatch in Africa between what universities are teaching and what the market needs. There are a lot of people being trained in the humanities in Africa. However, what Africa needs most of all are people who can work with machines, who have digital skills and who can build infrastructure. Mapping skills that are really useful against the skills that are taught is a good way to tackle the issue. The nature of the job market is changing and so it is all the more important to take that into account and to ensure that what is taught in schools is what the market needs. Rather than being too focused on existing industries, such as on the needs for more accountants or lawyers, it is important to look at where demand will be in the future. For example, the renewables sector is an area that has a lot of job creation potential.


Small businesses have the potential to create many new jobs, but too many get stuck at the micro level. They often need assistance to help with marketing and to grow.

Organised by


Raj Kumar
President & Editor-in-Chief
Arancha Gonzalez
Executive Director
International Trade Center
Philippe Scholtès
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
Marie Chantal Uwitonze
Boost Employability and Entrepreneurship Skills in Africa
Marita Mitschein
Caroline Kamaitha
Vice President Africa
SES Networks
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca
Former President of Malta and UNIDO Good will Ambassador and Patron of Global Africa
Office of the President Emeritus Coleiro Preca
Inota Cheta
Young Leader - Zambia
Papa Sarr
General Delegate for Entrepreneurship - Republic of Senegal
Government of the Republic of Senegal