Speaker Series on Youth Employment in Africa
Misan Rewane and Kathleen Beegle discussed the challenge of youth employment in Africa.
Africa, with a median age just below 20 years, has no shortage of young and energetic workers. But in 2015, one-third of Africa’s 420 million young people between 15 and 35 years old were unemployed, and another third were vulnerably employed, according to the African Development Bank. How can African nations tackle the challenge of youth unemployment and harness their youthful population for growth?
On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, the Stanford King Center on Global Development hosted a Speaker Series on Youth Employment in Africa. Our panelists were Misan Rewane, Executive Director of Stanford Impact Labs and co-founder of WAVE (West Africa Vocational Education), and Kathleen Beegle, Research Manager and Lead Economist in the Human Development Team of the World Bank's Development Research Group.
They discussed the key facts and challenges surrounding the jobs landscape for youth in Africa and the promise of innovative training programs. The conversation was moderated by Pascaline Dupas, the Kleinheinz Family Professor of International Studies and Faculty Director of the King Center.
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM: Registration check-in & reception
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Talks by Misan Rewane and Kathleen Beegle, Q&A moderated by Pascaline Dupas
About the Panelists:
Misan Rewane, Executive Director, Stanford Impact Labs
Misan Rewane is the Executive Director of Stanford Impact Labs, which focuses on catalyzing partnerships between researchers and practitioners to meaningfully address social problems. Misan is an all-around social problem solver with 15 years’ advisory, entrepreneurial and funding experience in Africa, Europe and the US. Misan studied Economics at Stanford and Business Administration at Harvard.
She started her career in management consulting at The Monitor Group, then gained exposure in public policy advisory, international development and social entrepreneurship. Misan co-founded WAVE (West Africa Vocational Education) to level the economic playing field for Africa’s youth. Since inception, WAVE has trained over 4,000 youth across Nigeria, transitioning them to entry-level work with a 2x income transformation ratio, and has powered 30+ partner organizations to train 50K+ youth in employability skills.
After stepping down as CEO of WAVE in 2019, she focused on advising disruptive social enterprises and funders. She currently sits on the boards of the African Visionary Fund, Kepler, Kepler College, Kibo School, Moringa School, and WAVE.
Kathleen Beegle, Research Manager and Lead Economist, World Bank
Kathleen Beegle is Research Manager and Lead Economist in the Human Development Team of the World Bank's Development Research Group. Her research experience includes the study of poverty, labor, economic shocks, and methodological studies on household survey data collection in developing countries. She has expertise in the design and implementation of household surveys and their use for poverty and policy analysis.
Her work has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals including the Journal of Development Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, World Bank Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Human Resources, and Demography. She is co-author of numerous chapters in books and is co-lead of several World Bank reports.
She was previously in the Research Group from 2001-2013. In the interim, she was the Lead Economist with the Gender Group (2018-2021), the Human Development Program Leader for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, based in Accra, Ghana (2014-2018), and a Lead Economist in the Africa Chief Economist Office (2013-2014). She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Michigan State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at RAND.
About the Moderator:
Pascaline Dupas, Faculty Director, Stanford King Center on Global Development
Pascaline Dupas is the Kleinheinz Family Professor of International Studies, a senior fellow at both the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Freeman Spogli Institute, and the faculty director of the Stanford King Center on Global Development. She is a fellow of the Econometric Society; an affiliate and board member of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab; a fellow at Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development; a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research; a research affiliate at the Centre for Economic Policy Research; and an affiliate of the Center for Effective Global Action. Before coming to Stanford, Dupas was an assistant professor of economics at Dartmouth and the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her PhD in economics from the Paris School of Economics.
Dupas focuses her research on scalable policies for improving household well-being in low income countries. Among other projects, she has conducted experiments throughout Africa to determine how best to price, target, and distribute essential health products. She received a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship and was named the Best French Economist by Le Monde in 2015. She is a past editor of the Journal of Development Economics, and currently sits on the editorial boards of several leading academic journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics; and American Economic Review: Insights.
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