A regional employment forum opened in Kigali yesterday under the theme: ‘promoting productive employment by supporting young entrepreneurs’. The forum, which attracted experts and policymakers from eastern and southern Africa, is timely as youth unemployment remains one of the biggest challenges across the continent.
Having experts from different countries in one room is an opportunity to deliberate on a holistic approach to this challenge.
With globalization, the challenge of unemployment has become more complex for individual countries to address singlehandedly. The Kigali meet should come up with strategies that can help the youth to be competitive in any country across the region. Strategies to address unemployment should take a global outlook.
As experts deliberate on the issue, focus should be on how to ensure that the youth can acquire skills that are relevant to the job-market. Individual countries should move from looking at skills that are only marketable within their respective boundaries. Skills acquired in Rwanda should be marketable in any other regional country and vice versa.
Unemployment and underemployment challenges have become issues of global concern requiring leaders to understand that unemployment is the result of a combination of several factors that need combined solutions beyond the local strategies of the respective countries.
In today’s world, the solution to unemployment is focusing on skills that are globally competitive.
According to the 2015 International Labor Organisation report, almost 43 per cent of the world global youthful labour force is unemployed. This is a worrying situation that requires global efforts toward adopting strategies that will make the youth more relevant within the current global market context.
Vocational and technical training is one of the strategies that will go a long way in addressing the challenge.