Giving Compass' Take:

• Joshua Alade highlights the work that needs to be done to remove the barriers that stand to prevent youth from entering the green economy. 

• What role can you play in removing these barriers? How can you best advance the green economy? 

• Read about investing in African youth leadership and development

In Africa, a lot of women and youth have taken to green jobs like recycling due to the waste to wealth initiative to help improve their socio-economic wellbeing and access to finance has hindered them from expanding their activity. According to a World Bank statistic, 4 in 5 of every young Nigerian is self-employed and they often lack the entrepreneurial skills that are crucial for identifying and exploiting new opportunities, while access to entrepreneurship education is rather limited.

Government policies often times ensure that small businesses do not thrive beyond the three to five years mark as entrepreneurs have to battle with multiple taxation, creating their own power source and delays in getting their products to market because of poor road network. The time and money that will have added to the profit of the business for scale or survival is channeled towards issues that a functional government system should have addressed.

The world is experiencing an increase in globalization with the progress in technology and the rising awareness of green businesses which is an amazing opportunity to create social businesses and new entrepreneurs which will help break the cycle of poverty and ensure inclusive progress for women and youth. However, the barriers like access to digital skills, the right business network and work-life balance make it difficult for women to thrive in the green economy.

In other for African countries to harness the green economy, people who are already self-employed need to be empowered to become employers. This way we have more social businesses that are addressing the developmental needs of the society and creating value for individuals involved in the process. There is a need to address the demand for decent work especially for young people to act within the green economy. According to a survey by the Nigeria Youth Sustainable Development Goals Network on the aspirations of young people on decent work, about 60 per cent of the 200,000 responses had interest in agriculture with another 46 per cent saying that they desire work that helps them contribute meaningfully to their community.

Read the full article about young people and the green economy by Joshua Alade at Alliance Magazine.