A person is classified as unemployed if: One is without work (self or paid employment) seeking work; or if one is temporary from work from the reference period due to “economic reasons ” such as no suitable (adequate) land, off season and lack of capital.
Or if one did some work during the reference period but does not access to that job every day such that one is mostly likely to spend more time unemployed than employed.
In Tanzania new entrants from primary, tertiary and colleges into the labour market are approximately 800,000 annually, but only around 150,000 secure employments in the formal sector.
Almost 97 per cent of the entrants partly fall into the informal economy and some remain informal economy and some remain inactive.
In order to arrest this situation, the government in collaboration with other various organisations, have been doing a tremendous job towards youth empowerment.
Indeed positive impacts have been registered, however, in many cases, each one of these organisations-World Vision Tanzania included are doing this either alone as an organisation or using single source of funding.
The Deputy Minister Prime Minister’s Office, Labour, Youth and Employment, Anthony Peter Mavunde, speaking during the cycle transformation project policy summit last Friday in Dar es Salaam confessed “Youth unemployment is a great challenge, of which we need to confront it by any means in a comprehensive way and concerted efforts.”
The cycle transformation project policy summit was organised by WVT, in collaboration with the government and other key stakeholders.
He further noted “Generally unemployment is a result of many reasons including the imbalance between supply and demand in the labour market; lack of start-up capital; lack of entrepreneurial skills and other business development services.”
However, Mavunde commended the project for providing useful relevant vocational technology and entrepreneurship skills to the youth while they are still at school.
“This is a good model as it provides youth with practical knowledge and skills necessary for the entry into labour market.
It is worth noting that the work done by WVT, implementing agencies and the financiers of the cycle transformation project in addressing youth unemployment by carrying out interventions in 23 vocational centres and two secondary schools.
Mavunde urged other firms in the country, both public and private institutions to replicate that project to their business partners.
“I appreciate a remarkable support and partnership by Microsoft putting in place a youth portal for knowledge and information sharing with regard to youth empowerment and opportunities,” he explained.
Employment creation is a high priority for the government because it is enshrined in the national vision 2025; and the second five year development plan (2016/17-2020/21.
“The government will continue to create an enabling environment to realise this ambition through human capital development; enhancing access to capital, tools, machineries and soft loans; and facilitating market development and penetration for products and services.
In order to solve youth unemployment, the government has embarked on several strategies to curb the situation.
Deputy Minister Mavunde mentioned those strategies as: National employment creation programme, which aimed at creating an enabling environment for youth to be either self employable or to be employed.
To access loans with interests from banks; national skills development programme, this entails to embark skills among graduate who complete higher learning institutions and universities to be accessed with the requirements of the labour markets.
He revealed that in 2014, the ministry of labour signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the regional commissioners asking them to allocate pieces of land in their respective regions for youth activities across the country.
He further noted that the government was committed to continue working with all partners in addressing the youth employment in the country.
For his part, World Vision Tanzania’s Board Chair Anthony Chamungwana said that in 2008 the number of youth unemployment stood at 10 per cent. And the strategy by Mkukuta was to reduce this at 5 per cent by 2014.But come 2015 that number was standing at 14.9 per cent, against Mkukuta target of 5 per cent by 2015.
“The youth unemployment accounts for 53.3 per cent of the total unemployment. One needs to not to think deep to understand the gravity of the problem, especially where set targets are far from being achieved,” he noted.
“Looking at the number, you can see this is a serious problem that we need to come together and join forces to optimise resources and harmonise policies for more impact results if we are to address this very serious challenge we are facing,” he called.
According to Chamungwana, there are a lot of organisations doing almost the same thing. “What has been happening is each individual organisation either at the government level or NGO level, competing for the same resources,” he said.
“So, this summit basically brings everybody together to see whether there is anything we can do to combine our resources looking at people, finance resources, and time issues.”
Furthermore, he urged the government to look at the issue of policies-if they aligned to address the unemployment challenges.
At its side the government needs to answer questions like: Are its empowerment policies aligned to the situation? Are the approaches taken addressing the appropriate challenges and timely? Are there incentives to private sector to support the initiatives? Do we have appropriate funding intervention in place?
At the side of NGOs-how do NGOs on the ground synergy within themselves and with other stakeholders to optimise resources and reduce duplication of efforts.
In many times either effort are duplicated or competing for similar sources of funds.World Vision Tanzania (WVT) is a Christian, relief development and advocacy organisation established in 1981.It is a member of an international partnership of Christian working in nearly 100 countries worldwide.
WVT partners with the government at the national, regional and local (district, ward, and village) levels, faith based organisations, other likeminded NGOs, multilateral and unilateral organisations.