Lack of jobs and better prospects for youth is the main driver forcing thousands from all over Africa to embark on the perilous backway in search of better life in the west.
However, problems associated with unemployment are many, including an increase in the crime rate, illicit drug trafficking and abuse, frustration, dependency, just to name a few.
These aforementioned problems would be a thing of the past when the country’s teeming young are provided with decent and gainful skills to earn a living.
In a nutshell, empowering the youths mean giving them the ability to move the country to where it ought to be. This empowerment could be done in different ways such as the provision of quality and affordable education, skills training in different areas of specialization such as carpentry, metal works, and fishing, among others.
While others argue that youths are the future leaders, many are of the view that youth are already leaders. Thus, honing and harnessing their potentials to be productive leaders should be the priority of any progressive government. No nation can achieve development in the absence of the youthful populace. And we cannot just sit, relax and see our future leaders get involved in criminal and other negative vices.
The recent surge in the crime rate in the country involving young people is a cause of concern. Government and concerned stakeholders need to act now and see possible ways to empower our young people.
What is even more worrisome is the fact that annually, thousands school leavers are added to the growing numbers of the country’s unemployed youth.
The country cannot make any meaningful progress to enhance its growth potential and social vitality while it neglects majority of well-educated youths; they are out of work. These young jobseekers may need to lower their expectation levels. But the job disparity is a structural problem that should be tackled with a set of active and efficient policy measures together with changes in attitude.
We need to create more jobs in sectors such as tourism, health care and education just like in the manufacturing industries. We also need to expand support for youth involved in SMEs so that they can offer better payment and working conditions. Until then, the country will continue to grapple with high crime, illicit drug trafficking and abuse.