THE government and education stakeholders in the country have been advising and encouraging students at various secondary schools and higher education institutions to acquire social skills that will finally lead them to self-employment – job creation.
This is not easy, but not impossible either. The idea behind is to address growing youth unemployment, which according to the World Bank, 60 per cent of Africa’s unemployed are young people.
Actually, there is a general call to prepare African students for current and future job opportunities. But are the youth prepared and empowered to do so?
According to United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya Siddarth Chatterjee, one of the reasons for graduate unemployment is that many young people across sub-Saharan Africa complete education without having basic skills to advance in their lives.
The UN Resident Coordinator sees that there is something not working regarding investment in education.
Of course, this is at continental level. As it is often said ‘think globally and act locally’ there is a need to time and time again advise and encourage the Tanzanian youth to widen their study horizons.
They may do so if they study so that they will employ themselves, but not so much that they will be employed as the majority of them think.
This means, the majority of students finish their school or university time, thinking of being employed or working in the formal sector.
But they end up being disappointed because there are only fewer job opportunities in the formal sector and since the majority of them think of being employed, they find themselves lavishing in the poverty trap.
On the other hand, even those employed some of them find themselves in the working poor category – that is, they may get a good salary, but due to the number of dependants they have, they always find themselves earning less than $2 a day.
These ‘working poor’ too are struggling to make ends meet amidst the growing cost of living. That is why we have to make more effort to create jobs coupled with having in place an enabling investment and doing business climate.
Although the government says it has put in place an enabling investment and doing business climate, there is a need to do more in this regard.
This is due to the fact that many young people are unfamiliar with the idea of being job creators for fear of the risks involved or not knowing what to do in the circumstances.
This being the case, there is a need for more public awareness programmes about job creation, taking risks and utilising job opportunities created by marked forces.
Since the world is changing we too have to change to go abreast for the changing world. Otherwise, we will remain lavishing in the poverty trap either as unemployed or the working poor.