Image by Whitney van Schyndel

The African green transition has the potential to create a plurality of green job opportunities that help tackle the negative consequences of climate change. But what are green jobs and how can they be a solution to youth unemployment and climate change in Africa? To find out more, INCLUDE and Palladium engaged in a collaborative research project in the context of the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment.

Although more work is needed to realise the full potential of the green transition, our research project shed some light on the road ahead. We distilled the following six key insights about green jobs.

Green Jobs

Green jobs are jobs in green businesses that contribute appreciably to maintaining or restoring environmental quality and avoiding future damage to the Earth’s ecosystems while also generating and supporting the wellbeing of people

1. Green jobs creation is a process, rather than an outcome

There are many different ‘shades of green’ when it comes to green jobs. Green jobs can be found along a continuum of business models in various sectors, with varying degrees of sustainability. Green jobs and the transition to a green economy is, therefore, a process, rather than an outcome.

2. Knowledge is key

To enable policymakers and practitioners to stimulate green jobs for youth, a strong evidence base is needed. Systematic creating, monitoring and publishing of knowledge is of the essence. Evidence synthesis will play a crucial role as well. 

3. Long-term investment is needed

Finance protocols and evaluation methods need to adopt longer-term investment strategies. Small and medium enterprises play an important role in green job creation, but green businesses tend to have longer expected payback periods and higher perceived risk. Adapting current strategies to the long-term is needed to allow for green business to be scaled. 

4. Provide youth with the skills to match the future of work

Though it is important to recognise and build on youths’ existing skills, a changing job market may require new skills. Investment in both soft skills as well as technical, management, and vocational training is needed to prepare youth for the future of work.

5. We must move from standalone initiatives to multi-stakeholder collaborations

A variety of stakeholders need to work together to implement comprehensive policies to enable the transition to a green economy in Africa. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are needed, which include national and local governments, international donors, the private sector, civil society organisations, and trade unions. Knowledge platforms can play a coordinating role and support the creation of the broader community of practice.

6. Youth in the driver’s seat

Policies and programmes to stimulate youth employment must be informed by youth themselves. Youth must not only be consulted, but must be part of decision-making on policies and programmes.

More about this project

You can find out more about green jobs for youth employment in Africa in our insight paper. You can also download our executive summary for a quick overview.
Connected themes
Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related items

Digital Skills for Youth Employment in Africa

Digitalisation and technological advancements are changing the world of work and the skills needed for employment. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone an estimated 230 million jobs will require digital skills within the next decade offering employment opportunities for its ever growing youth population. However, young people in Africa face several barriers that prevent them to obtain the types of skills required for employment. The evidence synthesis paper published by INCLUDE explores the challenges and opportunities of this digital transformation and presents recommendations of how to equip Africa’s youth for the future of work.

+2
By Ruth van de Velde +2 more
A decent proposal: self-employment for women in Uganda

This blog is part of a case study that examined decent work in the context of the work lives of self-employed and rural women in central Uganda in collaboration with 100WEEKS, a cash transfer graduation programme.

youth at work 2 pager
Youth @ Work: 5 pathways for change

How to address the African missing job crisis through green and digital jobs, while assuring that none is left behind? INCLUDE's recently published evidence synthesis paper series provides a number of potential solutions: they were discussed in the webinar series Youth@Work, from which we present five key insights.

Maya Turolla Profile
AERC Regional Policy Forum summary

The AERC hosted a virtual Regional Policy Forum on 28 March 2022. The forum brought together key stakeholders who play important roles in shaping new research findings, paving new policy directions, and initiating innovative practices in the areas of youth and employment.

Getting up to speed with inclusive development

The INCLUDE team’s reading list: March 2022 Every month we share with our readers a…