Jacob’s Ladder Africa, a not-for-profit organization focused on green workforce readiness, in conjunction with the Future of Development Programme at the Oxford Martin School (University of Oxford) on Friday hosted a roundtable discussion on green livelihoods and the future of jobs in Africa.
The roundtable brought together key individuals from academia, industry, the international development sector, and the youth population to raise key challenges and opportunities to facilitate Africa’s workforce to participate in the green economy.
Speaking at the event, Sellah Bogonko, CEO and co-founder of Jacob’s Ladder Africa noted that, “Climate change presents Africa with an opportunity- which if harnessed can significantly address the giant that is youth unemployment on the continent. We have the vision to catalyze 30 million jobs in the green economy in Africa by 2033 and through forums like these we are able to establish collaboration with like-minded organisations and individuals.”
She said building dignified livelihoods for Africa’s youth requires overhauling the continent’s industries, which is also the pathway for climate transformation, and that this presents an opportunity to reshape industrial action on the continent from the ground up.
“Africa has three elements that position it well for a rapid green industrial transformation: a youthful population driven to innovation, a wealth of natural resources, and an abundance of renewable energy potential such as geothermal, solar, and wind resources,” added the Jacob’s Ladder Africa CEO
According to James Mwangi, CEO of Africa Climate Ventures, embracing renewable energy for the continent’s use can eliminate approximately 12bn tonnes from the global emissions ecosystem.
A demand-driven approach to skills development is required in order to help young people leverage the opportunities in the green economy. Climate action requires significant funding to support infrastructure development.
“We need an innovative ecosystem to bring government, private sector, investor capitalists, academia, and entrepreneurs in order to leverage the opportunities in the green economy,” Dr Mahreen Khan from the University of Oxford said.
The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Development (FoD) is a five-year research programme (2021 – 2026) focused on low- and middle-income countries and work towards more equitable and well-functioning labour markets, fostering entrepreneurship and technological solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises and a just green energy transition.