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A New Focus on Youth Unemployment by Chinese Stakeholders in Africa

Job-seekers are seen at a job fair in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 10, 2019. A total of 60 Chinese enterprises operating in South Africa held the job fair in Johannesburg on Tuesday, offering more than 200 job opportunities to local people. (Xinhua/Chen Cheng)

60 Chinese companies participated in a job fair in Johannesburg on Tuesday organized by the South Africa-China Economic and Trade Association. Apparently, some 238 young people were offered jobs at the event, according to Ambassador to Lin Songtian in an interview with CNBC Africa.

Given the enormity of the youth unemployment crisis in South Africa, where more than half of the population aged 15-24 is out of work, and even more are underemployed, a few hundred job offers at an event like this isn’t going to make much of a difference. But in terms of the optics in public diplomacy terms, this kind of event is nothing less than communications gold.

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