Youth Unemployment in South Africa and the Socio-economic Capabilities from Mobile Phones

  • Hossana TwinomurinziEmail author
  • Joshua Magundini
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 933)


Unemployment is a significant global challenge with major social and economic implications. Unemployment has however not prevented the youth from owning and using mobile devices nor other Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). This exploratory paper investigated the mobile usage patterns among 104 participants in an effort to contextualize mobile and ICT strategies that target unemployed youth. The exploratory findings suggest that contrary to the assumption of most ICT for development literature to target youth in rural areas, ICT strategies targeting youth unemployment may be more effective when targeted at youth in urban areas. The strategies may also need to be adjusted as the youth tend towards the age of 35 where they become apathetic about job opportunities. Two capabilities, ‘individual’ and ‘interpersonal’, emerged uniquely as the job related economic capabilities of ICT. The paper contributes to practice and theory in suggesting recommendations for further research for ICT skills development programmes targeted at youth.


ICT4D ICT skills Mobile usage Youth Youth unemployment South Africa 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ComputingUniversity of South AfricaRoodepoortSouth Africa

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