4 opportunities for graduates in sub-Saharan Africa
According to the United Nations Development Programme, over 10 million young people enter the workforce in Africa every year, yet 60% don’t find jobs. With the spectre of a migration crisis at bay, a prosperous Africa is needed for the youth.
SPARK and local partner organisations offer opportunities for the youth, focusing on entrepreneurship and employability through different programs. Nevertheless, access for opportunities for graduate students remains difficult for many.
This list explores different opportunities available for young people after graduation throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
#1 Want to continue studying? Find a scholarship!
If you want to continue your path to higher education after finishing your Bachelor’s but can’t afford the full fees, you can always apply to a scholarship. Youth from all over Africa can use the Opportunities for Africans portal to search for options.
Moreso, women from sub-Saharan Africa wanting to further their studies in natural sciences can check out the scholarship by For Women In Science with L’Oreal Foundation and UNESCO, as well as this fellowship by the Organization for Women in Science in the Developing World.
Refugees and displaced people in Africa can also check out the Mwalimu Nyerere African Union Scholarship Scheme offering funding opportunities for different Master’s programmes across African Union countries.
#2 See what is out there: job search
Check out what is on offer in your local or regional job market. A good tip is to look at the skills required and change your CV or cover letter accordingly so that you have higher chances of standing out among the crowd. If you still have access to your university’s career service, check out their calendars for workshops and events to support students in navigating the job market after graduation.
Graduates all across sub-Saharan Africa can look at the Careers in Africa portal to stay updated on the latest job offers. Those particularly interested in tech and startups can take a look on the AngelList.
#3 Get an internship
Internships are perfect when trying to boost your work experience to get you ahead of the curve. If you are still a student, take another look of your university’s career service and see what opportunities they might have.
For those interested in development, the African Development Bank offers the Young Professionals Programme, which trains future leaders throughout all of sub-Saharan Africa to become banking professionals.
#4 Get Accelerated or Incubated!
Starting your own business has become an increasingly attractive option for young graduates all across Africa with innovative ideas. For those already with a startup or an incredible idea, there are several incubators and accelerators throughout the region that can help you.
For those with projects on sustainability, the Phanes Group Solar Incubator takes candidates from all over sub-Saharan Africa. Those working in agribusiness, can check out the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, or those in Rwanda can check AgriProFocus, which offers opportunities for agri-entrepreneurs to incubate their startups, and those in Liberia can check out the GROW incubator program.
Those looking to get accelerated in the sustainability or climate field can take apply to PFAN.
If you are in Burundi, you can take a look at the BBI, Impact Hub – Bujumbura or the Centre Universitaire de Formation et Recherche en Entrepreneuriat. For women interested in entrepreneurship, they can also look at the Association des Femmes Entrepreneurs du Burundi.
For those with a tech startup, the Amazon Alexa Accelerator is a great opportunity to take your startup to the next level. And the Baobab Network offers amazing options for the social impact technology sector.
In conversation with: Valentino Achak Deng
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