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Currently, individuals aged 15 to 24 make up 20 percent of West Africa's total population, nearing a count of 200 million, marking the largest generation the region has ever supported. Unfortunately, many of these young people, particularly women and those from disadvantaged communities, lack opportunities to improve their own lives and those of their community members. Recently, demographers have suggested that this surge in the youth population could serve as a significant opportunity for the African continent if properly leveraged, or it could exacerbate existing sources of violence if ignored.

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Train. Empower. Promote.

  • Train
  • Empower
  • Promote

Training the youth with Skills

We focus on mentoring young individuals in pertinent skills and aiding in the enhancement of curricula for local skill centers.

Empowering the youths

We facilitate connections among local skill centers, equip them with necessary resources, and empower the youths who complete their training.

Promote and support

We advocate for their programs, making skill acquisition appealing to both young individuals and their parents.

West Africa

Countries where we work

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The Gambia

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Sierra Leone

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Nigeria has the largest population of youth in the world, according to the United Nation Worldometer elaboration; the current population of Nigeria is 216,897,578 which is equivalent to 2.64% of the total world population with a median age of 18.1 years.

About 70% of the population are under 30, and 42% are under the age of 15. The size and youthfulness of the population offer great potential to expand Nigeria’s capacity as the regional economic hub of Africa and globally.

Nigeria’s Youth right from time are notable to be change agents and drivers of societal transformation but analysis of the socio-economic situations of youth both males and females in Nigeria reveals that due to various socio-cultural factors, they do not often benefit from the fruits of economic growth. Rather, economic growth often impacts their situation adversely. General socio-economic deterioration which was occasioned by poor government policies and high-level corruption has exacerbated the circumstances of these marginalized groups.

According to the 2006 National Population Census. It is contended that a large proportion of youth are marginalized as a result of bad governance and corruption. The worst affected groups include:

• Youths with disabilities
• School dropouts
• The unemployed
• Rural youth
• Migrated Youths

The poverty profile affirms that young adults – especially between the ages of 15 and 24 are among the poorest of the poor, this has pushed many to drop out of school at tender age and embrace apprenticeship in other to help change the social economic conditions of their family, interestingly Self-employed, total in Nigeria was reported at 80.58 % in 2021, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources, ranking the country to be one of the most self-employed population in the world..


Across all age groups, unemployment is highest among Gambians aged 15 to 24 – more than 44% – according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Nearly 60 percent of the poor in The Gambia are under the age of 20 years. Youth face significant challenges with respect to employment outcomes, such as a very difficult transition from school to work and very low levels of education and training. Youth unemployment in Gambia is a significant issue that affects the country's young population. The unemployment rate among the youth in Gambia is high, with limited job opportunities available.

There are several reasons for the high youth unemployment in Gambia. One factor is the lack of formal education and skills training among the youth population. Many young people in Gambia do not have access to quality education, which limits their chances of finding stable employment. Additionally, the limited job market in the country means that there are fewer opportunities available for young people to find work.

Another factor contributing to youth unemployment in Gambia is the mismatch between the skills possessed by young people and the needs of employers. Many young people lack the skills and experience required for the available jobs, making it difficult for them to secure employment. This is further exacerbated by the limited opportunities for skills training and development in the country.

Limited access to financial resources and a lack of entrepreneurship opportunities also contribute to youth unemployment in Gambia. Many young people do not have the necessary funds to start their own businesses and lack the support and resources needed to become successful entrepreneurs.

The high youth unemployment rate in Gambia has significant social and economic consequences. It increases the risk of poverty, crime, and social unrest among the young population. It also hinders the country's economic development and growth, as the talents and potential of young people remain untapped.

Efforts are being made to address youth unemployment in Gambia. The government, along with international organizations and NGOs, is implementing programs to provide skills training and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people. These initiatives aim to equip young people with the necessary skills and support to find employment or start their own businesses.

However, the challenges in addressing youth unemployment in Gambia are multifaceted, and progress is slow. More investment in education, skills training, and job creation is needed to effectively tackle the issue and provide young people with better employment prospects.


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Youth unemployment in Sierra Leone is a significant issue. According to the World Bank, the youth unemployment rate in Sierra Leone was 10.9% in 2020. This is higher than the overall unemployment rate, which was 7.9%.

There are several factors contributing to youth unemployment in Sierra Leone. One of the main challenges is the lack of access to education and skills training. Many young people in Sierra Leone do not have access to quality education, which limits their job prospects. Additionally, there is a mismatch between the skills young people possess and the skills demanded by employers, further exacerbating the unemployment problem.

Another factor contributing to youth unemployment is the limited availability of formal sector jobs. Many young people in Sierra Leone are forced to work in the informal sector, which often provides low-paying and unstable employment opportunities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on youth unemployment in Sierra Leone. The pandemic has resulted in job losses across various sectors, including tourism, hospitality, and retail. This has particularly affected young people who often work in these industries.

To address youth unemployment in Sierra Leone, there is a need for investment in education and skills training programs. This would help equip young people with the necessary skills to access formal sector jobs. Additionally, there is a need for targeted support for entrepreneurship and self-employment opportunities for young people.

Overall, addressing youth unemployment in Sierra Leone requires a comprehensive approach that includes improving access to education and skills training, promoting job creation in the formal sector, and supporting entrepreneurship and self-employment opportunities for young people..


The Republic of Benin is a country located in West Africa. As of 2021, the population of Benin is estimated to be around 12.6 million people, it is estimated that around 60% of the total population in Benin is under the age of 25. This means that there are significant numbers of young people in the country.

Unemployment is a major issue in Benin, especially among the youth. The youth unemployment rate in Benin is quite high, with official figures putting it at around 6.2% as of 2019. However, it is important to note that the actual unemployment rate among the youth is believed to be much higher, as many young people in Benin like other African country engage in informal, underemployed or vulnerable employment such as bricklayers, carpentry etc.

The high youth unemployment rate can be attributed to several factors, including a lack of job opportunities, limited access to quality education and skills training, and a mismatch between the skills possessed by young people and the demands of the labor market.

The Beninese government has recognized the importance of addressing youth unemployment and has implemented various initiatives to tackle the issue. These initiatives include promoting entrepreneurship and providing support to young entrepreneurs, improving access to education and vocational training, and encouraging the growth of industries that can generate employment opportunities for young people. Despite these efforts, youth unemployment remains a persistent challenge in Benin. Addressing the issue requires a multi-faceted approach that focuses on creating more job opportunities, improving the quality of education and training, and fostering an environment conducive to entrepreneurship and innovation. IYDN is taking a holistic approach to support the government effort, we shall be working with local skill centers and organize youth groups to implement the Skill Builders Initiative hoping to touch lives of hundreds of youths within the next 5 years..


According to the World Bank, the youth population in Ghana refers to individuals between the ages of 15 and 34 years. As of 2020, the estimated youth population in Ghana was around 16.3 million, representing about 36% of the total population.

Unfortunately, unemployment rates among the youth in Ghana have been relatively high. Data from the Ghana Statistical Service indicates that as of the third quarter of 2020, the youth unemployment rate in Ghana stood at 12.6%. This means that about 1.9 million young Ghanaians were unemployed during that period.

However, it is worth noting that these figures do not capture the full extent of underemployment and inadequate employment opportunities for the youth in Ghana. Many young people engage in informal or unstable work, which may not be reflected in the official unemployment statistics. Additionally, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have likely exacerbated the unemployment situation for the youth in Ghana.

During our project research, IYDN project team discovered other factors contributing to the high youth unemployment rate in Ghana. These include limited job opportunities, lack of skills and qualifications, and a high level of informal employment. Many young Ghanaians struggle to find formal employment due to a lack of job openings and stiff competition for available positions.

The informal sector, which includes activities such as street vending and small-scale farming, often provides employment for many young Ghanaians. However, these jobs are often low-paying, unstable, and offer limited opportunities for growth and development.

Addressing youth unemployment is a significant challenge for Ghanian government, in the past, the government has implemented various initiatives and programs aimed at promoting youth employment and entrepreneurship, these include the National Youth Employment Program, Youth in Agriculture, and the National Apprenticeship Program. This are very commendable programs especially the National Apprenticeship program which our project team is presently reaching out to for possible collaboration in implementing the Skill Builders Initiative..


According to the World Bank, the youth population in Liberia (ages 15-34) is estimated to be around 2.7 million in 2021. The youth unemployment rate stands at around 6.7% as of 2020, quite high just like every other West African country. This number may not fully capture the extent of the problem as many young people are underemployed or engaged in informal work.

The long civil war that devasted the country is one of the major reasons of the high unemployment in the country, also limited access to quality education and skills training programs leave many young people ill-equipped for the job market. Additionally, the lack of job opportunities and the slow pace of economic growth after the war make it difficult for youth to find employment.

Through our findings, Liberia youth unemployment has significant social and economic implications. It can lead to increased crime rates, social unrest, and a loss of human capital for the country. IYDN Skill Builders Initiative is presently reaching out to local skills acquisitions centers in rural areas to partner and improve access to education and skills training, as well as creating an enabling environment for job creation and entrepreneurship for the youths. .

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