Project shows how youth can overcome joblessness

TANGA: A MINDSET Change and Entrepreneurship Project being carried out in Tanga City is demonstrating that changes in mindset and entrepreneurship training for young people, including graduates of higher learning institutions, can help them overcome the challenges of unemployment and significantly increase their incomes in a short period of time.

In an interview here, Project Coordinator Patrick Waziri explained that the project has shown that overall, 77 per cent of the project participants surveyed in a midline survey had either started a new business, secured employment, or both.

The Tanga Yetu Initiative is being carried out by the Botnar Foundation in partnership with the Tanga City Council and the Tanga Economic Research Council (ESRF).

“There was an increase in income, with 39 per cent of participants already earning over 50,000-100,000/ per week,” Waziri said.

He observed that at baseline, only 42 per cent of participants were above the national poverty level of 12,333/ per week. However, by halfway, the percentage had risen to 72 per cent.

The overall goal of the project was to instill entrepreneurship skills and a shift in mindset among young people in the city, enabling them to improve their quality of life, Waziri pointed out.

According to him, the project reached 1036 young individuals, 547 of whom were males and 489 of whom were females. They were introduced to leadership training.

Seventeen (17) Youth Savings and Loans Associations were established, which, according to Waziri, saved a total of 1324m/- until the final report. This, he claimed, was a tremendous success for the young people, who initially earned a median income of 0/- per week on average.

Tanga Yetu is part of the OurCity programme, which is supported by the Fondation Botnar and works in collaboration with youth, Tanga City Council, the private sector, and non-governmental organisations to enhance the health and well-being of young people in Tanga City.

Our City is a Foundation Botnar effort that helps cities around the world implement coordinated initiatives that use digital technology and artificial intelligence to transform them into places where young people’s voices and needs are recognised and valued.

To promote well-being and opportunities for all, the project works with young people, civil society, policymakers, innovators and other city champions.

The project could be a response to the findings of a study on Tanzania’s higher education institutions.

According to Mr Lyata Ndyali’s study, ‘Tanzania’s Higher Education System and Jobless Graduates,’ higher education institutions have not significantly increased graduates’ employment prospects. The report states that graduates lack the necessary skills for work, which could be addressed if they were taught business skills that would make them more self-sufficient.

“Despite the government’s efforts to create nearly one million jobs each year, many college graduates delay starting their first job until they are well over the age of 34,” according to the survey.

According to the study, Tanzanian higher education must equip graduates for sustainable life in all positive forms. “Skills acquisition programmes for enrolled students in their specific field of business should be organised to train and empower them.” This will allow young people to cultivate a positive mindset towards work and labour,” the study concluded.

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