Sub-Saharan Africa has the fastest population growth projected between now and 2050 and the highest youth population in the world. According to The World’s Youth 2013 Data Sheet, this population is likely to be doubled in 2050. Again Youth unemployment remains a barrier to the African’s development.
Where are we going? Is the problem diminishing or escalating?
I grew up in the rural area of East part of Rwanda with limited access to electricity and education, some of my friends didn’t manage to pursue their studies. I have had luck to pursue studies but I kept in touch with those who didn’t manage to pursue studies. In that time, I’ve had chance to realize how youth of all categories according to the education levels suffer the unemployment problems.
Youth who remained at home or dropped out of schools before completing suffers lack of knowledge, capital and market linkage to who tried and start a small business.
Youth who pursued studies and graduated from universities thinking to get some fruits from salaries suffers the unemployment caused by the competitive labor market, lack of required experience, lack of information and capital for starting the business.
Many among the two categories suffer failure of their businesses at start while big and sustainable companies are still raising income and expanding.
Where is the problem? What could we do?
The problem is that whoever tries to address the problem for both categories of youth deals with only one cause be it limited knowledge, market linkage, lack of capital and failure to penetrate in the already existing market with competitive strong businesses.
There is a need for the integrative approaches engaging all concerned actors and potential stakeholders among others the Government
Couldn’t this synergy work?
In this consortium of actors, Youth who are educated will gain the experience as peer educators supporting uneducated youth to start enterprises or cooperatives and help them in putting together all marketing strategies and market linkages.
Accessing market for a new market entrant is a big challenge to youth small and medium enterprise, their capital and experience couldn’t compete with big and already existing and strong companies, as part of corporate social responsibilities, these big companies could give job to these enterprises if their services and goods are demanded. This support from big companies will encourage youth enterprises to grow, create more jobs and business resilience from which other youth will be motivated to enter in the cycle.
The main task for the government is to see if legal framework is friendly to easing this synergy and sensitize youth to enter in the cycle. Sensitize big companies to help youth resilience and job creation.
Youth is the force, is a precious gift that God gave the globe, once misused, this creates a danger but when used effectively, positive change and grow happens. This is not a task of one people but let synergize and growth together.
Jean Pierre Sibomana