A lot has been said and also resources have been channeled towards research in finding the solution to the grappling situation of youth unemployment in Africa and Uganda in particular. In all the manifestoes during presidential elections, the issue of youth unemployment always takes centre stage. Statistically, more than 70% of the youth, a category in which I also belong is said to be unemployed and yet Uganda boasts of a reputable education system through which most of the youth acquire the basic skills applicable in the different sectors of the economy
In the 2011/2012 budget, government announced the Youth Entrepreneurship Venture Capital Fund worth Shs25b to help scores of jobless youth in Uganda and an additional 21bn in the 2012/2013 Budget. On the surface, this appears to be a very good initiative by the government to tackle the problem of unemployment and I wouldn’t disagree that indeed it is. Alot of debate has gone on in regard to how the money has been disbursed, the interest rate and all the requirements so I will not dwell on that in this post.
To my understanding, the government has got a lot of competent economists and planners that are supposed to advise on matters of the economy but somehow I think the whole process has been over politicized in such a way that the technocrats loose focus and end up making the wrong choices.
Recently on Ntv news, it was said that if all the unemployed youth were to equally share the money, each would receive a maximum 7000UGX which naturally wouldn’t be worthwhile. Our country boasts of a large number of industries(Don’t ask for the statistics) which am sure would require a lot of manpower, even more than the so called unemployed youth provided they increase their scale of production according to my elementary economics. Now expanding production needs a lot of capital which am sure through public-private partnership can be raised.
Now the government can choose to take the course of enabling the already established industry players to expand so that they can employ more through channeling the venture fund to that cause. This in my view would save a lot on all the red-tape of disbursing the money to all the youth individually. The only challenge comes in with ensuring that these who are employed have their rights respected which are a matter of policy implementation (something that has remained a challenge 2 this country).
There is no perfect solution to unemployment even when there is emphasis on practical skills as the president has always said as he encourages science subjects. We need to work together both at local and national levels to discuss some of these issues 1st and then weigh the solutions to choose the best so my final word to whoever it concerns is actually a question “What are you doing on a personal level to create a job for yourself?”
To be continued………………watch this space