Pulse #18 - Feed our youth: Paying to share, Bitcoin's African renaissance, black hair ≠normal, and still waiting for Eco,
The Data Room
In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), youth aged 15-24 make up about 35% of the working-age population. Despite 18mn people entering the working-age population (aged 15-64) each year, a missing jobs crisis has meant a low assimilation rate into the workforce. The youth share of the working-age population in SSA has been declining for some time, albeit at different rates in different countries, in part due to lower labour force participation of school-aged youth, and is expected to fall to around 30% by 2050.
Numbers in the Spotlight
($750mn) has been secured in financing by Kenya from the World Bank for the Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project (HoAGDP)
($316mn) cryptocurrency transfers to and from Africa of under $10,000 were made in June 2020
Uganda has announced new rules to regulate online media, requiring people who broadcast online (e.g. blogs, online radio, newspapers) to register with the government and pay an annual fee of $27. This is an extension to the 2018 social media tax, which the government hoped would increase revenue to turn the country into a middle-income one by 2020. With only 17% of forecast revenue collected, the move has been criticised as an attempt to stifle dissenting voices in the run up to the national election. However with 191mn Africans using social media platforms, and increasing youth demographics using social media as an income source, is there any merit in these policies for nations who have typically struggled to capture tax revenue?
Essential infrastructure, personal living-space & utilities
Kenya has secured $750mn (Sh 81bn) World Bank financing for the Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project (HoAGDP). The loan will go into the tarmacking of close to half of the 740km Isiolo-Mandera Regional Road Corridor, the laying of a fiber optic cable, trade facilitation measures, the provision of basic socio-economic infrastructure, and institutional strengthening. Kenya's north eastern region is one of most neglected in the country. Exploring its potential as a transit and regional trade facilitation zone will, while fostering inclusion, strengthen Kenya’s transformation from a low middle income to a middle-income country by 2030.