Over two million Tanzanians have no jobs, top officials of the ministry of labour and employment have told the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee.
Briefing the Chairman of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) John Cheyo in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Erick Shitindi said a survey in 2010 put the number of unemployed people at 2.7 million against the overall population of 43,187 million.
He noted that the number of Tanzanians employed in formal sector stands at 19.9 million, 8.580 million of them being young men and women.
Rural-urban immigration among the youth, he said, partly contributed to increased unemployment in the country. “Most of these young men and women are searching for greener pastures,” he said.
“In fact, this is a big challenge to the government and the Ministry of Labour but we are trying to see how we can come up with specific programmes to increase employment among the people,” Shitindi said.
Responding, the oversight committee urged the government to work out alternative mechanisms to check rampant unemployment and to enable Tanzanians secure jobs or employ themselves after completing school.
“We need comprehensive plans and strategies to help people get employment or to employ themselves,” said PAC chairman.
“The responsible ministry should step up affirmative measures to end unemployment and expand job opportunities,” added Cheyo during the watchdog’s meeting with officials from the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Labour has launched a number of initiatives to mitigate the impact of unemployment, Shitindi said, adding that they have been facilitating programmes in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) by providing entrepreneurship training to different youth groups.
Other steps include facilitating them with loans to start small businesses.
The PS advised job-seekers to organise themselves in groups and apply for loans from various financial institutions to run their own income-generating projects instead of relying on employment opportunities offered by private and public institutions.
Last year members of parliament pressed the government to come up with sustainable measures to arrest youth unemployment in the country, before it was too late, saying it was a time-bomb waiting to explode.