Youth unemployment needs concerted efforts in South Sudan.

By Ter Manyang Gatwech.


A group of unemployed youth during a recent meeting in Juba. [Photo: Via Gurtong]
A group of unemployed youth during a recent meeting in Juba. [Photo: Via Gurtong]
August 22, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The potential of South Sudan’s youthful population can be productively harnessed through good education (creative skill development), vocational training and job creation orientation thus making Uganda’s youth become great resources for boosting the country’s economy.  In other words, the youths are problem—solvers as opposed to problems to-be-solved!
August 22th, 2014 ( Nyamilepedia) Let me defined the unemployment o (r joblessness) occurs when people are without work and actively seeking work.

The unemployment rate is a measure of the prevalence of unemployment and it is calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of unemployed individuals by all individuals currently in the labor force. During periods of recession, an economy usually experiences a relatively high unemployment rate. According to International Labour Organization report, more than 197 million people globally are out of work or 6% of the world’s workforce was without a job in 2012.
There are points that we need to note as we determine the understanding and consequently address youth problems pertaining to unemployment in South Sudan. A cross-section of the youth faces unemployment problems in various sectors. Some of the worth noting points and key questions include:

There is a huge challenge with youth participation especially in youth volunteerism; where it’s either not valued by many institutions or the volunteers are not facilitated to do the work.How do we make the topic of agriculture interesting for the generation that will require producing food in the next decade? Encourage more experiential learning on agriculture (backbone of the economy) and food production making learning more exciting and practical?

What’s the role of parents in helping their children and youth develop interest in self-employment?
At what point do we need an attitude change? Is it from lower level school or at college level? Who needs to change the attitude? The parents or the youth? (it has been observed that what makes the youth develop a negative attitude is mainly due to a parental influence when they were young and thus changing this requires efforts at all levels of their development ).

Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) faces challenges thus most famers are illiterate; through Agricultural Schools they are trained in sustainable agriculture. The skills acquired could help to improve on the output from the farms. This can also be replicated for the benefit of other farmers.  The question remains: are they well packaged to attract youth?  Documentation of lessons learnt from entrepreneurs who are already engaging in agriculture and rural development will be one to motive other youth across Africa to get involved. Who is going to grow all the food that the country needs if we are still pushing the children and youth out of the farm? Know that our ‘illiterate’ parents are getting older? Is there money in faming? Are youth patient enough to wait for this money?

It is against this background that we need to shore up the youth. The idea is to enable youth in South Sudan and elsewhere turn their synergies and idea into business opportunities by increasing income earning capacity and creating decent work for themselves and others.

We have seen immeasurable examples of people taking control of their destiny, and making change from the bottom up. So can our youth!  Unemployment has become a worldwide phenomenon for both educated and uneducated  there are long term solutions to youth unemployment, for one, the importance of the relationship between the business community and government working together to address the problem of unemployment among the youth critical. The government has the scale to reach the young and unemployed, and the government can make the long-term commitment needed to educate children.

On the other hand, the business community knows which skills it needs and what takes it to make someone employed. Business community ought to work with government to adapt the school curriculum, so that young people leave school ready for work. Training programs must be tailored to demand. The result: an increase in the percentage of graduates who found jobs.

We also need to build in incentives for business to address the social-capital deficit in poor communities. We must find ways to get Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) like public administrators and on the school boards of underperforming schools, young professionals into the churches. We also need to get the youth with talents but some have no money to put into internships currently reserved for the elite. We need to make it easier and cheaper to apply for work by providing incentives for business to reach out to applicants. When the business community and government work together to leverage their comparative advantages then can we bring to address the problem of youth unemployment.  Business needs to get its head in the game. Businesspeople, must remember that youth unemployment is not just a problem for government; it is a problem for everyone in the country. It is also not a problem that one group can solve alone. The solutions are not simple, but we
have common interest, and together we can make a start.

More so, the challenge of youth employment in Africa, therefore, is not just to create more wage and salary jobs. Important as this may be, but to increase the productively, and hence earning, of the majority of young people who will be employed in the informal sector and household enterprise. Productively can be increased by better infrastructure and business climate that lower the costs of production and thus increase the demand for labor; and measures that improve the skills of workers. This will result in higher income but lower demand for labor in agriculture. There appears to be greater scope for supply-side measures. People with primary education or less are disproportionately concentrated in the informal sector. By increasing the skills of who’s who leave school, we can increase the skills of those who leave school, we can increase their productively in farm and nonfarm household enterprise.

With higher skills, new entrants can increase their earnings by moving out of the farm and eventually the household- enterprise sector. Such an investment will not be lost if the worker moves out of the informal sector:  they can take their human capital with themselves.  We cannot only look at the growing concerns of today. Government must ensure that students are being taught in schools and also that teachers have the right atmosphere. Thus, increasing informal workers’ productively by strengthening their skills requires reforms in basic education and making teachers more accountable to students, and politicians accountable for delivery on education outcomes.

Conclusively, if you are able to make a product, sell the product for about 10-20% more than price of production. Money ads up so don’t focus so hard on big-ticket projects that you miss out on all the little ways of making money. For example, even if you only make 10  a day, that’s  70  a week a month,   2100  and a year 25200 South Sudanese Pound (SSP). Try to dress sensibly. This will help youth look responsible and dedicated.

May Almighty bless South Sudan?
The Author is a finalist students and pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in Arts in Public Administration and Management. Live in Kampala, Uganda and he reach through email address: termanyanggatwech@yahoo.com. +256774755763+ 256755555394. A chairman of Gawaar Community in Uganda.

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