Refining Jobs in Africa
Curated Story
This article originally appeared on
World Policy

Employers and job seekers across the continent are struggling with an employment mismatch of unprecedented proportions. There are three major societal shifts that entrepreneurs are promoting through innovative solutions:

  1. Elevate informal jobs as viable, respected livelihoods
  2. Leverage alternative industries
  3. Shift from jobs to entrepreneurship.



Ashoka Insight

While redefining what counts as a “good” job is only one piece of the puzzle for addressing the massive disconnect between jobs and job seekers Adewolu-Ogwo faced, the type of solutions pioneered by leading social entrepreneurs across the continent—elevating informal jobs as viable respected livelihoods, leveraging alternative industries to expand job options, and promoting a shift in focus from jobs only to including entrepreneurship—all offer a compelling way forward.

Reem Rahman works at Ashoka Changemakers as a Product and Knowledge Manager to help anyone with an idea for social change succeed in making a difference. She is passionate about creating open-source tools for learning and designs products to increase collaboration, impact, and sustainability. These have included a dashboard for every user to receive custom feedback, the Changemakers Guide to Pitching and Crash Course, and guides on trends in social innovation.

Prior to joining Ashoka, Reem was one of the Managing Directors for the innovative Rethinking Islamic Reform forum in the UK, which has reached over a hundred thousand viewers to date and she directed communications and public relations for a civil rights group in Chicago
Lynsey Farrell is a Senior Change Manager and works with the Global Partnerships and Africa Teams. Since 2013, she has been managing Ashoka's partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, a multi-million dollar grant supporting innovations in youth livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to Ashoka, Lynsey directed American University’s semester abroad program on “Issues in Sustainable Development in Nairobi, Kenya. Lynsey’s experience in Kenya began with a Fulbright student fellowship, followed by doctoral studies in cultural anthropology at Boston University. Her doctoral work was based on seven years of ethnographic research with youth self-help organizations in Nairobi’s largest informal settlement. In East Africa, Lynsey also worked as a consultant on a range of strategic planning and capacity strengthening assignments for a variety of non-profits, including the East Africa Law Society and Maendelo ya Wanawake, the largest and oldest grassroots women’s organization in Kenya.

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