23 African Countries With The Lowest Unemployment Rates

By Dana Sanchez AFKI Original Published: February 21, 2017, 2:43 pm
African countries lowest unemploymentIn Algeria, GE partners with Air Algeria to provide its aircraft with engines. Photo: GE.com

Africa is witnessing its best growth performance in decades, but the world’s youngest continent, demographically speaking, continues to have high unemployment with few signs of recovery in 2017.

South Africa invariably comes up in the discussion about jobless rates in Africa, but it makes this list. Two thirds of African countries have higher unemployment.

The continent’s  youth population is expected to double to 830 million by 2050, according to the U.N. agency, International Labour Organization, which brings together governments, employers and workers from 187 member countries to set labor standards, develop policies and promote decent work.

High unemployment is a key factor shaping young people’s decision to migrate abroad permanently.

African youth are more willing than average to move permanently to another country: 38 percent in sub-Saharan Africa and 35 percent in Northern Africa in 2015 compared with 20 percent globally. In sub-Sahara, the percentage of youth willing to migrate ranges from 77 percent in Sierra Leone to 11 percent in Madagascar.

Below we’ve listed 23 African countries with the lowest unemployment rates. We’ve included each country’s ranking for unemployment compared to 201 countries around the world. Cambodia, No. 201 on the list, has zero unemployment. On the other end of the scale is Zimbabwe, with 95 percent unemployment.

As a basis for comparison, the U.S. has 7.3 percent unemployment.

The figures below include unemployment and underemployment data from as far back as Jan. 1, 2014. In some cases, true unemployment is unknown and, under current economic conditions, unknowable, according to the CIA World Factbook.

Sources: CIA World Factbook, Index Mundi, International Labour Organization

Camel market in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Mauritania

Unemployment: 30 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 20

Migrants head back home after failing to find work in Libya, Nov. 28, 2015. Photo: Tom Westcott/Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Libya

Unemployment: 30 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 21

Geekcorps computer training class in Bamako, Mali. Photo: wikicommons

Mali

Unemployment: 30 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 22

Solar array, Namibia Breweries Limited, Windhoek. Photo: cleanenergyauthority.com

Namibia

Unemployment: 27.4 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 28

Workers at a textile factory in Lesotho Photo: lestimes.com

Lesotho

Unemployment: 25 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 30

South Africa to double tax-free wine exports to EU

Harvesting grapes in South Africa. Photo: wosa.co.za

South Africa

Unemployment: 24.9 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 31

Nigerian bloggers during a lunch with Google. Photo: wealthresult.com

Nigeria

Unemployment: 23.9 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 32

Equatorial Guinea has the highest per capita income in Africa, but poor social development. Photo: Angela Stuesse

Equatorial Guinea

Unemployment: 22.3 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 36

 

Workers offshore Gabon. Offshore Energy Today

Gabon

Unemployment: 21 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 39

Market in Praia. Photo: quazoo.com

Cape Verde

Unemployment: 21 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 40

South Sudan's Economy

Cattle are cash in South Sudan. Photo: Kyodo/Landov/NPR.org

Sudan

Unemployment: 20 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 43

Cormoros vendor. Photo: Andy Dumaine/Destination Stewardship Center

Cormoros

Unemployment: 20 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 44

Foreign company

Polish diamonds in Gaborone, Botswana. Photo: Steinmetz Co.

Botswana

Unemployment: 17.8 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 49

Post-Brexit Supply Chains

Gloves at the Pittards Ethiopia factory. Photo: bbc.co.uk

Ethiopia

Unemployment: 17.5 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 50

Tunisian fishmongers at the central market in Tunis. Photo: Fethi Belaid/Getty

Tunisia

Unemployment: 17.2 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 52

Poultry famer in Mozambique. Photo: technoserve.org

Mozambique

Unemployment: 17 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 54

Zambian copper stacks. Photo: Reuters

Zambia

Unemployment: 15 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 67

Conservation work at the Blue Mosque, Cairo. Photo: Aga Khan Development Network

Egypt

Unemployment: 13.4 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 72

Ghanaian minibuses aka tro-tros Photo: linkedin.com

Ghana

Unemployment: 11 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 86

In Algeria, GE partners with Air Algeria to provide its aircraft with engines. Photo: GE.com

Algeria

Unemployment: 10.3 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 93

Mauritius

Ice-cream seller in Mauritius. Photo: John Borthwick/Getty

Mauritius

Unemployment: 8.3 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 109

Logging in Central African Republic. Photo: wikipedia.org

Central African Republic

Unemployment: 8 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 114

Seychelles fishermen. Wikipedia.org

Seychelles

Unemployment: 2 percent

Global ranking out of 201 countries: 189

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