The African development bank says the world needs to create some 40 million new jobs each year for new market entrants, in addition to absorbing the 200 million who are unemployed in 2012.
ADB vice president and chief economist, Professor Mthuli Ncube says the challenge of unemployment is formidable and unless there are significant changes in the policy environment, there are likely to be considerable consequences for young people.
Professor Ncube says the associated risks of social unrest and loss of faith in social progress, are no longer potential but real.
He was speaking in Lusaka this morning during the ADB regional high level policy dialogue workshop on youth employment.
Professor Ncube notes that Africa, with almost 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, it has the youngest population in the world adding that by 2030; nearly one in four young people will be African.
He says this presents the continent with an enormous opportunity, but it could also present a significant risk and threat to social cohesion and political stability if it fails to create sufficient economic and employment opportunities to support decent living conditions for this group.
And Information, Broadcasting and Labor minister Fackson Shamenda has spotted the lack of coordination as one of the challenges in the current youth empowerment programmes.
Mr. Shamenda says in order for the nation to avoid duplicating and to assess the impact of programmes, a mechanism is needed for coordinating programmes.
He says the only way out for the country in the current situation is to harness efforts towards effective job creation.
Speaking earlier, finance minister Alexander Chikwanda says the challenge of employment is complex and requires public and private solidarity to resolve.
Meanwhile, ADB resident representative Freddie Kwesiga says the seminar brings together policy makers, private sector, academics and the civil society activists to discuss among, the main areas for strategic partnership for promoting youth employment, especially skilled and semi-skilled youth.