Money Moves Opinions & Features April 04, 2016 at 05:28 am

Staggering Youth Unemployment Rate: A Paradox To “Africa Rising” Trend

Adedeji Ademola | Contributor, F2FA

Adedeji Ademola April 04, 2016 at 05:28 am

April 04, 2016 at 05:28 am | Money Moves, Opinions & Features

PIC. 1. APPLICANTS FOR THE NIGERIAN IMMIGRATION SERVICE RECRUITMENT AT THE NATIONAL STADIUM IN ABUJA ON SATURDAY (15/3/14).

The Nigerian Immigration Service Recruitment on March 15, 2014, in Abuja, turned into a stampede with 16 reported deaths and several injuries.

Today, after years of slumber, Africa is rising. The situation is grim, however, considering the fact that Africa is blessed with human and natural resources that even some nations in Europe or Asia did not possess. The rich deposits of oil in Nigeria, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Algeria and Angola; diamonds and gold in Namibia, Sierra Leone and Ghana, etc., have not been utilized to enrich the downtrodden and cater for millions of graduates being churned out of Africa’s universities and other higher institutions. Most African countries have been achieving 5-6% economic growth every year since 2010, but it has been jobless growth that has added little or no value to the lives of the poor.

Youths in Africa also share part of this blame. They are not daring enough. They are not taking their destinies in their hands. Most youths have little or no skills to offer in exchange for money. Some who are graduates do not possess the skills needed for the 21st century workplace. However, this challenge also has to do with the education offered in most African universities. The knowledge imparted is irrelevant to the demands of the internet age. Without government providing the supportive environment, how can youths be daring when they are yet to eat and provide for their families? After all, the average human being will pursue self-sufficiency first before dreaming about any other things.

The cost of inadequate employment is far reaching. High levels of youth unemployment will eventually impact taxation, decent healthcare, and other areas of collective life, leading to insecurity and a gloomy future. African governments need to urgently modernize and diversify their economies, run good governance and corruption-free societies. A solid partnership with the private sector is also essential, while the educational sector must be reprogrammed to ensure that graduates are equipped with the relevant skills to get a decent job both in and outside of his country of birth or to establish one if the right job is not forthcoming. This can only be done when a conscious effort is taken by African leaders at the regional level and sub-regional levels to tackle this ugly trend once and for all.

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