Mastercard Foundation, together with a group of strategic partners, has initiated a research project to look at the role of secondary education in preparing African youth for the future of work, with emphasis on ensuring youth acquire the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to succeed in a dynamic and globalized labour market.
Significant challenges remain in access, quality, and relevance of secondary education in Africa. Given the transformative potential of the growing youth population, the shifts in African labour markets, and the evolving technology and its impact on nature of work — fundamental changes in secondary education are needed to equip young people to be successful in work and in life. Only a small fraction of students in Africa complete university level studies, and with secondary school becoming more accessible, it will increasingly become the main bridge to work for most youth.
Rethinking and reforming secondary education, including what young people learn andhow they learn it, is necessary to make education relevant for youth employment orentrepreneurship in a dynamic and globalized labour market.