When unemployment among the youth still exists amidst opportunities

A report that was recently released by the International Labor Organization on youth unemployment indicated that almost 13% of the young worldwide
are out of work, and their situation is unlikely to improve for four years. This
report comes in at a time when Africa is experiencing lots of changes and
revolutions that are the master mind of young unemployed youth most of whom are
educated, idle but lack decent jobs and are therefore desperate to work.
“The youth unemployment crisis can be beaten
but only if job creation for young people becomes a key priority in
policy making and private sector investment picks up significantly,” says
ILO executive director, Jose Manuel Salazar
pointed out.
Poverty is pervasive on the African continent, a palpable legacy of colonialism’s
economic exploitation and a direct consequence of neo-colonialist as well,
conflict and poor governance coupled with corruption being contributing factors
as well in many African countries. Uganda, one of the African Countries, is reported to have the youngest
population as well as the highest youth unemployment in the world according to
the World Bank report on Africa. The importance of these numbers highlights the fact
that in order to achieve meaningful development, programmes and projects need
to be youth oriented. While the number of educated youth continues to grow
worldwide, there is insufficient knowledge about the use of ICTs in schools,
the distribution of ICT skills among students and the role that ICT-based
skills has in terms of future employment opportunities.
Wondering what the future holds for youth
 ‘The challenge of youth employment in Africa,
therefore, is not just to create more wage and salary jobs–important as this
may be–but to increase the productivity, and hence earnings, of the majority
of young people who will be employed in informal farms and household
enterprises’ United Nations declared 2010 the year of the youth and several global conferences
focused on the role of the youth in socio-economic development. One of such conferences
that took place in Africa was the “elearning Africa 2011” which took place in
Dar-es-salaam with a focus on “Youth, Skills & Employability”. The discussion was centred about what youth can do to earn a
descent living beyond the class room. A number of solutions focused on
entrepreneurship skills as well as Agriculture.
 When I recently asked my friends on facebook this
question “What are
the real causes of unemployment among the youth especially in Africa? Is it just
laziness and the strong desire for white colar jobs?” Below is a one of the responses that I received from
a 22 year old Frank Odongkara a software Engineering student at Makerere University in
 “I don’t think it’s laziness and
even though I used to curse the “school-should-make-white-collar”
mindset, I think it’s kinda the way things should be. Not everyone can and
should be an entrepreneur. Our major problem is investment climate; I can
personally testify to that and I believe there are thousands of Africans who
have undergone and are undergoing what I am experiencing. Today for example, we
have many folks seriously investing in Real Estate and hardly any investor
interested in technology in Uganda; considering that you need many people
earning enough first, before you can sell to them houses, I’d say it’s just
plain misguided investment. Our major problem is that we do not have a kind of
wall street and business intelligence is scarce and decisions are made at home.
The youth are not lazy and the problem is not the government either; the major
problem is that the majority of African business folks with huge bundles of
money are uneducated
Do you agree with Frank’s argument? What are some of
the existing opportunities that young people can tap into that have been ignore
for so long?