New Website Offers Career Advice to Young Africans

Digital Content

Africacareerguidance.com was set up with support from the Commonwealth Connects Programme and the Commonwealth Business Council

A new website aimed at providing career guidance to African youth and helping to link them up with prospective employers has been launched.

The website, Africacareerguidance.com, was set up by AfricaRecruit, with support from the Commonwealth Connects Programme and the Commonwealth Business Council.

AfricaRecruit is a human resources organisation that provides skills training for African professionals in the diaspora and on the continent.

According to its Director, Dr T A Banjoko, setting up the career guidance portal was motivated by the urgent need to improve the capability of African youth - especially university graduates - to join the job market in Africa.

A report published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in 2005 estimated youth unemployment in Africa at 21 per cent, compared with the world average of 14.4 per cent.

Between June and August 2006, AfricaRecruit conducted a study of university students in Africa that indicated a serious mismatch between the skills being demanded by the labour market and the skills offered by the young people.

"One of the significant challenges of enhancing youth employment in Africa is to develop a more effective matching and linking mechanism between skills of current and prospective African university graduates and job opportunities in the marketplace," Dr Banjoko explains.

The website has an inbuilt email subscriber list for all its users and offers a searchable database of career profiles for job seekers and prospective employers.

It also offers skills and interest assessments and advice on CV and résumé preparation. It provides tips about interviewing techniques, as well as information on internship and volunteer opportunities, and entrepreneurial skills.

According to Dr Banjoko, the website hopes to register at least 20,000 graduates on its database in 12 months. Another target for the website is to find at least 100 work experience placements and internships for students each year.

Although still in the early stages of development, the site has received several hits and enquiries from users and human resource career counsellors suggesting a real need for its services. Below are some of their testimonies (names are left out for privacy purposes).

"I have recently completed Ashesi University and have had enormous experience developing the 'perfect' CV for myself as well as colleagues. It would be interesting to share what I have learned with others."

"I received your newsletter and was immediately attracted to the page on Africa Career Guidance. I think it's a lofty idea that would, if well executed, help refine the raw talents in Africa to ensure sustainable talent supply for now and the future. Please count me in on this one as it aligns strongly with my passion."

"I read your recent newsletter regarding Africa Career Guidance and I would be interested in contributing to this. My background has been in HR and Recruitment for the last 18 years and in my role I've been career counsellor for recruitment agencies in Melbourne, Australia, and a qualified Coach (Executive & Leadership). Please let me know what information you require to assist."

Commonwealth News and Information Service