Mbabazi: Africa’s Unemployed Youth A Ticking Time Bomb


cheap geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Mbabazi said there is a wide spread celebration of Africa’s performance and Africa is now closer than ever before to transforming its economic potential into self-sustaining growth.

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order geneva;”>The Premier made the remarks on Thursday while officially opening the International Growth Centre, Africa growth forum 2013 at Serena hotel in Kampala.

He said the East African community region has been one of the fastest growing regions in the world with real GDP growing by 6. percent in the last decade.

“Six of the ten fastest growing countries in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa including Uganda which has recorded real GDP averaging 6.8 percent between 2003/4 and 2012/13,despite the global economic crisis that struck in 2008 and 2009,” Mbabazi said.

The Premier called for the boosting of intra-African trade to strengthen the Continent’s industries through creating economies of scale, strengthening product value chains and facilitating the transfer of technology and knowledge.

He said such activities can promote infrastructure development and also attract foreign direct investment.

Mbabazi however called for strategic measures to translate the economic growth into improved standards of living in addition to creating of employment opportunities, infrastructure development and human capital development.

Mbabazi said Africa will probably be the only region that will not meet the millennium development goal of halving poverty by 2015.

He said despite the progress made, latest data shows that nearly 78 percent of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa is living in poverty while close to 49 percent still lives in extreme poverty.

The Premier said all African countries are grappling with unemployment and underemployment, adding that the greatest challenge is unemployment of the youth who represent close to 60 percent of the total unemployed in the region.

“With one of the world’s largest young populations, this can be a ticking time bomb. We need to turn it into a great opportunity,” said Mbabazi.

The Executive Director for the International Growth Centre, Prof. Jonathan Leape said Africa must invest her resources to secure sustainable access to energy to enhance development, adding that there is also need for adoption of new industrial technologies to exploit the abundant resources.

Prof. Jonathan said the mission of his organization is to promote sustainable growth in developing countries by providing demand led policy advice based on research which identifies key policy challenges and local growth solutions.


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