Header advertisement
Header advertisement

OPINION: We Need an Honest Conversation about Employment

Thousands of the youth who turned up at UN offices in Kampala for Volunteering Last week.
Thousands of the youth who turned up at UN offices in Kampala for Volunteering Last week.

    By: admin

  • Apr 8,2017
  • 17376 Viewed

By: Ronald Bills Agaba

Last week, http://curarlaimpotencia.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-get-post-counts-v1-1-endpoint.php at our monthly peer to peer conversations organised by Leadership Square Africa – a start-up leadership organisation run by friends and I, http://davidyoho.com/wp-includes/class-walker-page.php a debate emerged about our generation’s arguably gravest challenge – employment. Specifically, the debate focused on the prospects of self-employment – the now much hyped counter to the limited formal sector jobs. The conversation was in particular provoked by two stories of Rusia and Tony.

Rusia, 28, employs 30 workers in her business. She shared a story of how on her first business trip to India, she was picked up by a 17 year old whom she mistook for just a son of her business partner, only to be embarrassed on learning that he was actually her host – the main business partner. In her words, she was embarrassment because like any average Ugandan, she didn’t expect a 17 year-old to know much about business, much less run one.

Then there was Tony’s. Returning from his studies abroad, and high on the ‘be job creators’ mantra, Tony had headed straight to Lira to try his hand at commercial farming. But his enthusiasm was short lived. At the end of the season, his Shs.6million maize field had been overwhelmed by heavy rains fetching him a paltry Sh.2million at harvest time.

The two stories were the kind of challenging experiences that made me reflect deeply on the feasibility of the now hackneyed ‘be job creators, not job seekers’ advice kit for every job seeking Ugandan, and whether we’re armed with the right mind set to make good of the challenge.

A typical 17 year-old Ugandan is one in senior six vacation, solely concerned with making it to University. Money making is not their concern at that stage, since they are still under the benefaction of their parent/guardian who is all too often eager to patronise them.  Contrast that with their Indian counterpart –an already hands on business manager attracting clients from far corners of the world, and determined to make an impression on them.  As Rusia shared, the boy personally picked her from the airport, drove her to the hotel and personally handled the business trip up to its climax.

Then there’s the culture of half-truths about self-employment, religiously handed down to unsuspecting youths by patronising guests of honour at graduation. Always absent in these rosy wealth creation platitudes by government officials is the honesty about the risks involved, that should paint a complete picture to inform the young graduates’ decisions as they venture into the murky working world. As a result, you have the all too common stories of young people like Tony, naively venturing into the business world in Agriculture or otherwise, with catastrophic consequences.

As we continue to grapple with shrinking formal sector jobs amidst a growing number of young people leaving universities and other tertiary institutions therefore, we must start complete truth telling about the world of work. Universities must allow honest conversations to take place about the future of employment.

We must supplement the job creating rhetoric with deliberate technical training and business orientation of young people to arm them with the requisite knowledge and skills necessary to see them through this journey.

At the lower levels, parents must rethink the schooling of their kids, and demand a reduction in school assignments for their kids to avail them time to get involved in the backyard cottage industries at home, running of their shops during the weekend, and taking them on business trips during holidays. Schools need to refocus effort to producing, all round skilled citizens with the right attitude about life, and not just good grades.

At the macro level, the regulatory framework should be made enabling, and not stifling of industry. In particular, the incentives structure for the agriculture and small scale cottage Industries, like the tax regime and power tariffs should be revised downwards to encourage more start- ups, while particular procurement quotas should be deliberately reserved for youth start- ups to facilitate their quest to break even.

These interventions should be as urgent as the crisis on our hands. By 2050, half Africa’s population will be below 25 years old, with particularly the continent’s youth population doubling from the current 230m to 452million, according to Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s 2017 report. Finding work for this ballooning population therefore could determine the stability of the continent, and work on that front must start in earnest.

The options for the next half a century are clear. We can make a conscious decision to get our young people to work, harness their dynamism to power our continent’s ascent into the first world, or procrastinate and get imperilled. The choice is ours.

The writer is the Team leader – Leadership Square Africa


Don't miss the stories AND LET'S go!!!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 1.00 out of 5)
Related Articles

Grassroot Organization, Community Empowerment an Ideal Foundation for Aspiring Museveni Successors

By: Boaz Byayesu Community empowerment is better than pompous democracy talk and mightier than the good theoretical ideological literature. Grassroots organization and construction of communal

Earth Day: The Time is Now to Save Planet Earth

By: Masereka Charles Yoronimu Every 22nd day of April of every year, the world joins hands to mark Earth Day, a day designated to demonstrate

OPINION: Why Uganda Might Soon Need an Agency to Regulate Errant Religious Operators

By: Dennis Owachgiu Religion is ordinarily a matter of personal conviction to a deity, and as such shouldn’t necessitate any form of third-party human meddling

OPINION: Applying Common Sense to Politics is an Uncommon Sense of Practice and Good Politics

By: Boaz Byayesu I read Mr. Ofwono Opondo’s article in the Chimpreports of April 11, 2017 addressing Dr. Stella Nyanzi’s dramatic saga, and I was

Rise of Think Tanks: Do Ideas in Uganda Matter?

By: Morrison Rwakakamba Ideas matter. Substance rather than form is supreme. Truth, reasonableness and respect are critical to blooming of enduring ideas.  And for ideas

OPINION: National ID Data Is Used for Verification

By: Pamela Ankunda The Communications Sector UCC has just issued guidelines to all telecom companies in Uganda: Among these, http://ciudad-deporte.com/wp-admin/includes/list-table.php all new SimCards... (Read More)

OPINION: Yes, Some Meaningful Museveni-Besigye Talks Could Re-Set the Country

By: Morris DC Komakech The looming prospect of talks between FDC leaders and the NRM dictatorship is kind of assuring. “Uncle” Muniini Mulera’s “Letter to

Mao Should Face the Heat and Avoid Tribal Sentiments

By: Francis Akorikin  The recent storm in the Democratic Party has exposed the internal leadership challenges affecting Uganda’s oldest party with both sides of the

OPINION: Rwabwogo’s Moderate Voice of Reason Could Be Source of National Unification

By: Boaz Byayesu Odrek breaks away from the radical, http://demainechiropractic.com/wp-content/plugins/sitepress-multilingual-cms/menu/upgrade_notice.php partisan, http://deltaalphapihonorsociety.org/... (Read More)

The Fall Armyworm in Uganda: Is It A Scourge?

By: Charlotte B. Kemigyisha In the latter part of 2016, http://darkfey-temple.org/wp-includes/http.php there were multiple complaints of outbreaks of “caterpillars” on maize plants in the district... (Read More)

Header advertisement
Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!
Latest News

Court Dismisses Walusimbi’s Case Against FUFA

The high Court in Kampala on Thursday  dismissed the case filed by football wor... (Read More)

Uganda High Commission in New Delhi Woos Mumbai-Based Solar Investor to Uganda

URJA, a Mumbai-based company has promised to invest in solar energy in Uganda, C... (Read More)

Pfizer Moves to Reduce Cost of Vaccines in Uganda

The drive to eliminate diseases globally through vaccination has gathered pace, ... (Read More)

Grassroot Organization, Community Empowerment an Ideal Foundation for Aspiring Museveni Successors

By: Boaz Byayesu Community empowerment is better than pompous democracy talk and... (Read More)

Uganda to Host African Great Lakes International Conference

Uganda is set to host African Great Lakes International conference which is aime... (Read More)

House Adjourned Due to Absence of Finance Ministers

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has Thursday adjourned plenary sine die... (Read More)

Gov’t to Register Primary School Children for National IDs

Government through the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) is set to start a... (Read More)

Wealth Creation Major Remanded Over Unlawful Possession of Machine Gun

Makindye General Court Martial Chairman Lt Gen Andrew Gutti has charged and rema... (Read More)

President Nguema Tips Uganda on Oil Sector Development

The President of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who is in Ugand... (Read More)

Mutebi Optimistic KCCA FC Can Advance from Tough Group

Kampala Capital City Authority Football Club (KCCA FC) head coach Mike Mutebi ha... (Read More)


UK Ambassador Hails NRM

By Ibrahim Shamiru Byakika The British High Commissioner to Uganda Peter West ha... (Read More)


Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!
Special Reports

Court Attaches NSSF Bank Accounts in Shs 14bn UTL Pension Row

The Court of Appeal has issued a garnishee order attaching two bank accounts of ... (Read More)

Qatar Airways to Offer Discounted Flights in Latest Global Sales Campaign

Qatar Airways has rolled out a global campaign to offer amazing discounts to tra... (Read More)
Like Us on Facebook
Acquistare Cialis here.
Header advertisement