Digital advancements are changing the world of work. It is estimated that over the next ten years, 9 out of 10 jobs globally will require digital skills. This digital transformation has the potential to reverse the trend of 'jobless growth' in Africa, altering the structure of African economies by investing in digitally-enabled jobs. However, it is still unclear what the main challenges and opportunities are in this transformation and the types of skills needed to capitalise on it.
With this in mind, the following paper critically engages with the key interrelated drivers and barriers to digital skills development and employment for young people in Africa. It does this by synthesising existing research on the role of education and digital skills for youth employment, and how this links to interventions and insights from policy and practice.
Dedicated case studies in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa are also presented, highlighting the current and future challenges associated with the skills needed for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).