World Data Lab and the Mastercard Foundation Announce Launch of the Africa Youth Employment Clock


[Nairobi, Kenya & Kigali, Rwanda] World Data Lab (WDL), in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, is pleased to announce the launch of the Africa Youth Employment Clock in both Kenya and Rwanda. The Kenya launch took place on 19 March 2024, and will be followed closely by the Rwanda launch on 21 March 2024.

According to WDL projections, Africa will experience its highest-ever youth population growth inthis decade (2021–2030), with the population projected to increase by almost 100 million between 2023 and 2030. Against this backdrop, enabling young people in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work is more important than ever before. A collective, renewed impetus underpinned by credible data is needed to achieve this.

The Africa Youth Employment Clock will support and inform the journey to more inclusive African labour markets through cutting-edge data modeling and visualization. This labour market model monitors real-time job growth and forecasts employment trends in Africa; disaggregated by key variables such as employment status, age, gender, and sector, up to 2030. The first of its kind, the Clock is poised to become a go-to place for comprehensive youth employment data in Africa.

It is intended to inform the strategic decision-making of policymakers, development actors, and other youth and labour ecosystem stakeholders. The Clock draws from surveys and datasetsmade available by national statistics offices, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

The Clock is a user-friendly, publicly available digital tool which can be accessed at Country-level youth employment data is available for all 54 African states, while sub-national data is currently available for Kenya and Rwanda. Over time access to sub- national data will expand to include Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal, and Ethiopia, countries where the Mastercard Foundation supports country-based programs. The Clock’s data analytical model draws from surveys and datasets made available by national statistics offices and international sources. WDL’s methodology is peer-reviewed, and enables consistent comparable data across countries.

“We are proud to partner with the Mastercard Foundation to launch the Africa Youth Employment Clock. We believe in the power of youth employment data in Africa – offering the basis for more informed decision-making. The Clock will allow governments, private

sector, and young people, to have access to more nuanced data on the concrete youth employment questions they have.” said Dr. Wolfgang Fengler, CEO, Word Data Lab.

“The Africa Youth Employment Clock aligns with our mission to enable 30 million young Africans to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. As we witness unparalleled growth in the continent’s youth population this decade, we recognize young women and men of Africa as the dynamic workforce and leaders capable of solving local and global problems.

This tool will play a key role in delivering precise labour market insights to support our youth empowerment efforts,” said Tade Aina, Chief Impact and Research Officer at the Mastercard Foundation.


About World Data Lab

World Data Lab (WDL) has a mission to create public goods that bring clarity to – and heighten the visibility of – some of the most complex challenges of our time, including the development of datasets and tools that track United Nations SDGs in real-time. To date, this includes tracking

poverty, hunger, water scarcity, gender, health, and internet access in close cooperation with leading global organizations and governments. By combining new data sources with groundbreaking modeling methods, WDL assists the public, governments, and other organizations in making data-driven decisions to solve the world’s biggest challenges. These tools are developed as part of our mission to democratize data and make it accessible and actionable for everyone. In short, making everyone count.

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation is a registered Canadian charity and one of the largest foundations

in the world. It works with visionary organizations to advance education and financial inclusion to enable young people in Africa and Indigenous youth in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. Established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company, the Foundation is an independent organization separate from the company, with offices in Toronto, Kigali, Accra, Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, Dakar, and Addis Ababa. Its policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by the Foundation’s Board of Directors and leadership.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Anne Mason, World Data Lab:

[email protected]

Catherine Ndioo, Mastercard Foundation:

[email protected]