Speaking at the 2nd East African Business and Entrepreneurship Conference and Exhibition held last week in Dar es Salaam, Stephen Niyonzima who is Principal Labour, Employ- ment, Immigration and Refugee O cer at East African Community said the current unem- ployment crisis in the region is not only due to lack of jobs but that has a key sectors o ering employment opportunities.
“There are important sectors which the EAC region should focus on to promote youth em- ployment and this includes changing the cur- ricula being used by training institutions,” Ni- yonzima said.
He pointed out that massive investments in infrastructure and industrialisation to fast- track the integration projects and programmes need to be boosted so that more youth can get jobs. Niyonzima asserted that the region is af- fected by the imbalance between supply and
demand in the labour market which is hap- pening because of the increase in the number of job seekers who outweighing the number of jobs available in the labour market.
“The role of employment services promo- tion for the member states would be to develop information desks, data bank on employment opportunities available and inform the youth to take advantage of them,” suggested.
Saddam Ahmed who is an Executive Secre- tary with Tanzania Youth Vision Association, said the view that EAC members should focus more on promoting agriculture and especially
agri-business where the bulk of youth can get jobs. Ahmed also said governments should prioritise and regulate the informal sector to create a favourable working environment, pro- mote sports, arts, creative industry and talent development which can enable many youth self employment.
“Despite the fact that several actors work to promote youth employment services in the region, research shows that there are still chal- lenges to meet the labour market demand. Young people have inadequate skills or their skills do not meet the requirements of employ-
ers,” he argued saying it is time that tertiary in- stitutions review their training manuals.
Atim Catherine, Founder and Managing Di- rector, Catwing Hammocks, said that the main focus area for the EAC members should be to review the current education system which is more theoretical than practical.
“The partner states should promote strong partnership with the private sector in order to establish opportunities for training and men- torship for young graduates in East Africa with the view of enhancing their skills level to match the available jobs,” Hammocks said.