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Centre Of Excellence For Unemployment And Skills Development

African Entrepreneurship Development for Unemployment and Poverty Solutions (Aedups), University of Lagos

Africa currently has a population of about 1.25 billion people or 17% of the world’s population. On the other hand its collective GDP is less than one third of that of the USA. Thus the study of unemployment and the related matter of skills development is a continental imperative. Where better to host such studies but at an ARUA Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Unemployment and Skills Development.

Close to 46 percent of  the African population live below the poverty line of $1.25 per day which should be of grave concern for all meaningful researchers of African origin. This condition is made worse whenever the wealth of nations is examined globally vis-à-vis the standing of an average African country. None of the African countries is among the 20 largest economy of the world. In the first largest 50 economies, only Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa made 26th, 31st and 38th positions respectively.

An evaluation of the Fortune 500 Companies of the world showed that no African oriented company or company of African origin ranked among this group; thereby indicating the level of misfortune of economic circumstances of African nations. If this continues, poverty, unemployment, frustrations and non-competitive economies will pervade the African nations; hence, the African continent will never be able to level-up with the quality of lives offered to citizens by other continents of the world like Latin America, Asia and Europe. A quick diagnosis of these two inverse situations of wealth and poverty in other continents of the world (Latin America, Asia, Europe & Australia) and Africa showed a strong availability of entrepreneurship orientation and development in the wealthy continents and a lack of this in Africa. Government and citizens commitment to eradicating poverty and unemployment through promoting entrepreneurship and skills development activities in most of the countries housing the Fortune 500 has actually become a way of life. African ranking in the Global Competitive Index 2016-2017 Ranking is so poor that no African country made the first 40. It was only South Africa that could make 47th position making it the only African nation among the first 50 most competitive countries of the world. It was quite interesting to know that all the Fortune Companies are from the nations that made the top 25 highest ranking in  the 2016-2017 Global Competitive Index.

Therefore, if the position of Africa must change meaningfully in relationship to its peers continents in the delivery of quality of life, wealth, sound economy and competitive countries; then, a strong and virile Africa Research Centre of Excellence dedicated to Entrepreneurship and Skills Development that provides sustainable solutions to unemployment, poverty eradication for global competitiveness is A MUST HAVE! AND A MUST BE EXECUTED!!

The reason for the establishment of this Centre was based on the forward looking characteristics of the University of Lagos and ARUA in evaluating the challenges of unemployment for the teeming youth in Africa. The Centre is meant to research into methods and techniques that can equip the African youth and its entire populace with the indispensable and phenomenal innovative skills, risk taking abilities, creativity and business management skills that will help Africans become employers of labour rather than employees of labour. Faculty members of the Centre will be encouraged to focus strongly on research tailored towards entrepreneurship and innovation for a sustainable 21st century economy and quality of lives in Africa with a focus on nine Research Areas.

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