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Museveni Speaks out on Youth Unemployment

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President Museveni was addressing the opening session of the Special Summit of the International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Heads of State and Government in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Thursday.

The Summit theme was “Fight against Youth Unemployment through Infrastructure Development and Investment Promotion.”

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Mr. Museveni stressed essence of the sensitization of the youth on defending their own interests saying that it is vital that they are not prone to influence by external forces.

He observed that unless the five sectors of government – Public Service, Industry, Agriculture, Services and Tourism – are developed, the infrastructure in Africa is bound to remain retarded.

Kenya’s President, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta said that support to the youth in the National, Social and Political Agenda and streamlining youth Issues across all government sectors are crucial aspects in addressing issues impacting the youth on the African continent.

The Summit was also attended by the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Mrs. Mary Robinson, Representatives of Heads of State and Government from all member States, international observers and the diplomatic corps.

Time bomb

The youth population in sub-Saharan Africa is increasing rapidly. Nearly one in three people living in the region, or about 297 million, is between the ages of 10 and 24. By 2050, that age group is projected to nearly double to about 561 million, according to PRB’s The World’s Youth 2013 Data Sheet.

One of the reasons young people are having trouble finding employment is a limited number of jobs. Between 2000 and 2008, only about a third of the 74 million jobs created in Africa were for people ages 15 to 24.

This challenge causes young people to settle for less-than-ideal employment, such as jobs that are low-paying, temporary, or unsafe, or ones for which they are overqualified. Some enter the informal economy to make ends meet. Others stop looking for jobs altogether. These groups are difficult to measure and are not included in typical unemployment figures.

But the number of available jobs for young people is only part of the problem. While improving, educational systems are still failing to provide a large proportion of youth with the skills they need to secure a living.

Without the ability to attain basic skills or the specific ones that match the demands of the labor market, many youth are unable to find employment.

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