How to Prevent a Demographic “Youth Bulge” From Causing Widespread Unemployment

Mark Goldberg
Global Dispatches
Publication Year:
May 06, 2020
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

South Africa is experiencing what demographers call a “youth bulge” which occurs when young people make up a disproportionately large percentage of the population.

One key challenge facing societies experiencing a youth bulge large is what happens when young people become of working age, and there are too few jobs.

In South Africa and in many countries with similar demographics, unemployment rates among young people is orders of magnitudes greater than the overall unemployment rate. As my guest today Nicola Galombik explains, when large numbers of young people are unemployed the knock-on effects for society in general can be extremely negative.

Nicola Galombik has embarked on a strategy to reduce youth unemployment in her native South Africa. She is the co-founder of the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, a social enterprise that is not only helping to find young people jobs at scale, but is changing mindsets around employing young people.

Youth unemployment is a key driver of instability in many countries around the world, and as you will see from this conversation the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator has found a formula to take on what is essentially a demographic challenge.


In this episode, Mark Goldberg speaks with Nicola Galombik, the co-founder of the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, about youth unemployment. 

This episode is part of a content partnership with the Skoll Foundation to showcase the work of the 2019 recipients of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. The Skoll Awards distinguish transformative leaders whose organizations disrupt the status quo, drive sustainable large-scale change, and are poised to create even greater impact on the world. Recipients receive $1.5 million in core support investments to scale up their work.


Suggested Articles

Adolescents+2 more topics
📣 Calling all #youth in the #AsiaPacific Region and beyond! Our friends at Youth Co:Lab are hosting the hybrid #YouthCoLab Summit 2022 this summer July 4-7, 2022 🤩 This year's Summit aims to highlight, encourage and celebrate the role of young people in the #DecadeofAction, while showcasing and...