Improving climate literacy and youth employability in Africa is the aim of a new partnership lead by Sheffield Hallam University.

The project is funded by the British Council’s Innovation for African Universities Programme which aims to harness the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within universities to support the development of Africa.

It is a response to the fact that Africa has the world’s youngest and fastest growing population with an estimated 20 million young people, however one third are unemployed, another third are vulnerably employed, and only one in six are in wage employment.

The Carbon Literacy for Youth Employability and Job Creation Project will seek to use carbon literacy as a tool to improve youth employability in Africa.

The £60,000 partnership project, which will see Sheffield Hallam work with Durban University of Technology and Innovate Durban in South Africa, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Nigeria and Kisii University in Kenya, will be funded by the British Council’s Innovation for African Universities Programme.

The programme aims to harness the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within universities to support the development of Africa which is home to the world’s youngest and fastest growing population with an estimated 20 million young people poised to join the workforce annually.

However, of Africa’s nearly 420 million young people aged between 15 and 35, one third are unemployed and disenfranchised, another third is vulnerably employed, and only one in six are in wage employment.

Led by Bee Gan, head of global academic development, and John Grant, senior lecturer in sustainable construction and climate change at Sheffield Hallam University, the Carbon Literacy for Youth Employability and Job Creation Project will seek to use carbon literacy as a tool to improve youth employability in Africa, including translating materials into various local languages to maximise accessibility.

Through the programme, jobseekers will gain an awareness of carbon emission costs and the impact this has on everyday life in a way that can be applied to any industry or sector.

James Richardson, director of global development and partnerships at Sheffield Hallam University said: “The University is honoured to be invited to participate in the British Council’s Innovation for African Universities Programme, following a successful funding and participation bid.

“Sheffield Hallam has an established Carbon Literacy programme, and we are enthused by the opportunity to work with, and learn from, such prestigious African institutions, ensuring we apply our shared knowledge and expertise to a global issue.”