REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL: WEST AFRICA YOUTH ENGAGEMENT, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, AND EMPLOYMENT
Duration: Approximately 12 – 14 weeks (50 days’ level of effort)
Africa is the youngest and fastest-growing continent in the world. By some estimates, its youth population, which already faces high rates of unemployment and precarious employment, is expected to double to over 830 million by 2050.1 Yet many youth entering the workforce today lack the skills and professional experience employers seek. In West Africa, rural youth experience higher levels of extreme poverty, illiteracy, and inactivity compared to urban youth, and many rural families rely on younger members to earn money, which can lead to dangerous irregular migration. A lack of clear economic opportunity can also exacerbate underlying inequalities and the key risk factors and precursors for extremism.
To help young jobseekers in rural contexts confront this challenge, TechnoServe has delivered innovative programs to bridge the employability gap. TechnoServe currently deploys a range of approaches to promote entrepreneurial attitudes among women, men, and youth, and equip entrepreneurs with the skills they need to grow their businesses and improve their access to finance and markets. TechnoServe’s programs instill personal confidence, improve life skills, and help participants identify their strengths in order to empower them to pursue one (or more) paths toward gainful employment: starting their own enterprises, securing formal jobs, or engaging in agribusiness.