Fatoumata Ba, founder and CEO of JUMIA Ivory Coast, recently participated in the African Ministers of Employment conference in Abidjan. She discussed young people’s access to the world of work, and stated that entrepreneurship through new technology offers a real and lasting solution to the problem of youth unemployment.

As part of the conference on youth employment in Africa involving 25 Ministers from the PQIP/DCTP, which took place this week at l’Hôtel du Golfe in Abidjan, Fatoumata Ba talked about the problem of young people’s entry into the workforce and of their access to the world of work, mentioning entrepreneurship through new technology as a solution for job creation in Africa.

In the course of the African Ministers of Employment conference, Fatoumata Ba mentioned entrepreneurship through new technologies as a real and lasting solution in the fight against youth unemployment in Africa. “According to McKinsey Global Institute, the internet penetration rate in Africa has now reached 16%, with 167 million internet users. It is predicted that internet penetration rate will reach around 50% and the number of internet users will rise to 600 million by 2025 in Africa. Taking this into account, entrepreneurship through new technologies is a massive and innovative answer to the problem of youth unemployment in Africa” she stated.

In just one year, JUMIA Ivory Coast has created more than 80 permanent jobs, more than 100 jobs including internships and contracted positions, and more than 200 jobs counting the entire ecosystem it involves (logistics co-ordinators, suppliers etc.). Considering the democratisation of the internet and the expansion of e-commerce in the Ivory Coast, JUMIA plans to continue recruiting in the coming months and years. The organisation Africa Internet Holding (of which JUMIA is a part), the continent’s internet leader which is already successfully established in over 20 countries in Africa, has created more than 2500 jobs in the continent since 2012. The impact of the internet in Africa is therefore significant, and this is only the beginning. The jobs created in this sector will allow young African countries to access employment on a massive scale and to benefit from specialised training.

The conference of the African Ministers of Employment is one of the activities organised by the Inter-Country Quality Centre (Pôle de Qualité Inter-Pays) in the domain of Development of Technical and Professional Skills (Développement des Compétences Techniques et Professionnelles), known as PQIP/DCTP. It brings together the Ministers for Education and Training from around 25 French-, English- and Portuguese-speaking countries across the continent. His Excellency Mr. Moussa Dosso, Minister of State, Employment, Social Affairs and Vocational Training was present, as well as his African counterparts from Morrocco to South Africa, and Senegal to Kenya.

The aim of the event is to promote in-depth consideration of, and subsequent action on, the type of socio-economic measures that need to be applied and the type of skills that need to be developed in order for young Africans to gain access to employment and in this way earn their living while contributing to the economic development of their country. It is aimed at member countries of the PQIP/DCTP but also at African countries which are putting in place reforms and innovations with the main goal of facilitating young people’s access to the world of work.