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Chowa planning study to address youth unemployment in South Africa

By Rainier Masa

Assistant Professor Gina Chowa is leading a planning grant to develop a large-scale experimental study to address youth unemployment in South Africa.

With a grant funded by the Ford Foundation, Chowa and doctoral student Rainier Masa are collaborating with the University of Johannesburg to develop a youth asset and workforce development demonstration project. The project will examine what works in assisting young people find gainful employment and increase their earnings capacity.

The planning phase included field visits with youth development stakeholders in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg from July 29 to Aug. 9. Findings from the planning activities were presented at a research symposium on Sept. 23 and 25 in Johannesburg. Chowa also presented about her work on economic strategies for youth in Africa at a public symposium in Johannesburg on Sept. 26.

In addition, she met with Ebrahim Rasool, South Africa’s ambassador to the United States and representatives from the World Bank, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation and USAID on Sept. 12 in Washington, D.C. These meetings were co-hosted by the UNC School of Social Work.