Africa’s universities are not preparing graduates for the 21st century workplace

Across Africa, students arrive on campuses full of hope that a university degree will improve their lives. The reality is far less certain.

In 2014, a British Council study estimated Nigeria’s graduate unemployment at 23.1%. In Kenya, it takes an average of five years for a graduate to find a job. Yet business leaders frequently say there are jobs – just a lack of skilled talent to do them. How can this be?

There are two commonly cited explanations. The first is that financial, human capital and infrastructure constraints have a negative impact on the range and quality of skills students graduate with. The second is the disconnect between what universities teach and the skills needed in the market.

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