• US: Zim Unemployment 5.42 Percent

    The United Nations states that Zimbabwe's unemployment rate is 5.42 percent.

    Unemployment rates in Zimbabwe are often reported to be between 80 and 90 percent, but these rates did not take into account the vast numbers of people in informal employment.

    According to a chart published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Zimbabwe's real unemployment rate has hovered around five percent since 2006.

    To read the article titled, “Zim unemployment 5.42 percent: US,” click here.

    IOL News
  • Youth Challenges Can Be Solved Through Entrepreneurship

    The first time I went to Khayelitsha was on a Sunday afternoon. I had spent the day lazing around, when a friend called to say he was going there to drop somebody off and asked if I wanted to tag along. In a heartbeat I said yes; it had been almost three years since I moved to Cape Town, and I had never been to this township that I had heard so much about. I decided not to have any expectations, but to rather let my experience determine my views of the many good, bad, amusing and appalling stories I had been told about Khayelitsha.

    After dropping our friend off, my friend suggested that we drive around for a while so that I could see the area some more. We made a stop at a park known to the locals as ‘Nandi Nandi’ - it was crammed with scores of people, young and old alike. The leitmotif of the occasion was to have a good time; music seemed to be coming from just about every car that was parked, as well as from the local spaza shops, shebeens and chesa nyamas. Adding to the frivolity were all sorts of beverages, mostly the hard stuff, that just about everyone seemed to be indulging in; young ladies in high heels and trendy outfits strutted about seeking attention, while the men looked on with covetousness. These were my peers … South Africa’s future.

    I struggled to adapt to the atmosphere at Nandi’s. As someone who grew up in a township, this experience was not new to me, I grew up attending many similar occasions. What was concerning however, was the number of young people I saw, most of them barely out of adolescence, indulging in such activities on a Sunday and with only a few months left before they were due to write their final exams. I began to wonder about the backgrounds of these youngsters, their dreams and ambitions, what success meant to them, how much they valued education, who their role models were…It was clear that most of them were living for the here and now; it was like their ability to look ahead and see a brighter future for themselves, one of work and stability and prosperity, was gone. 

    Many youngsters faced with few opportunities have resorted to this kind of lifestyle to forget their problems. I should know, I was once in their shoes. After matriculating, I left for Johannesburg with the hope of studying film, but things did not go as planned. After several abortive applications to enrol in film studies I decided to go back home to get a job so I could keep myself busy. Unfortunately, I did not succeed at this. As months passed, with no job or anything else to keep me busy, boredom got the better of me and I was desperately seeking some sort of amusement. Luckily, I did not go through this experience alone; for some odd reason, all my close friends were also sitting at home. Some had dropped out; some were upgrading their matric results, while others could not get enrolled in their preferred courses.

    While our friendship grew stronger, the reality is that we were starting to get too comfortable with a lifestyle of drinking, smoking and having a good time - all in the name of something to do. These habits grew stronger every day, and my life was heading in the wrong direction - I had to change before it was too late! In truth, some of my friends and I were growing tired of the routine, bad habits and especially the scolding we got from our parents!

    I suggested to one of my friends that we should start a business to keep ourselves busy. We started selling hot dogs to local school kids. This venture made a huge difference in many ways; I was busy and I was getting something in return, and my bad habits were slowly fading away. I had become a businessman and was constantly busy: merchandise needed to be bought, rolls needed to be prepared; marketing had to be done … all these tasks replaced the many hours of indulging in useless activities, with something useful and productive.

    I am of the opinion that many of our inactive youths get involved in crime and dangerous social practices because they simply do not have anything to do; they do not have jobs, nor are they involved in any worthwhile activities. Consequently boredom gets the better of them and they resort to mischievous habits to get by. With jobs being scarce, I believe that youth entrepreneurship could be a silver bullet to our unemployment challenges. In fact, in response to the growing youth challenges and unemployment crisis in Europe, the European Union has adopted the ‘2020’ growth strategy, which places entrepreneurship at the heart of Europe’s drive for growth and employment. They have moved away from the idea of relying on existing companies to provide employment for their young people; instead, entrepreneurship and self - employment are now the more attractive options -a lead South Africa should follow.

    But to achieve a thriving culture of youth entrepreneurship, we must:

    Create funding mechanisms

    There are limited options available - the National Youth Development Agency is one of the few institutions to finance youth ventures. But obtaining the funds is often a slow and inefficient process. This needs to improve.

    Provide mentorship and financial education

    While finance is important for helping young entrepreneurs to get off the ground, it is equally important that they are mentored by experienced role models and gain access to financial literacy programmes to ensure sustainability

    Create tax policies that support youth entrepreneurship

    Target tax and businesses incentives, so they support young entrepreneurs in scaling their businesses.  Develop tax incentives to encourage youth job creation across industries and sectors.

    Enhance skills shortages and provide work experience

    Alex Antonites, chair of entrepreneurship at Pretoria University, says it is always better for potential entrepreneurs to have some work experience. "Even two or three years as a waiter helps, but in Africa that is often not possible." 

    Antonites says many young people have two core entrepreneurial skills in their favour that are critical to success: creativity, and a willingness to take risks. Other business skills can be acquired through training, as long as this is very practical in nature, she adds.

    Initiatives such as GAP and Lulaway have created an opportunity for both graduates and youths not just to gain work experience, but also to access to training, resources and tools. Our country needs to support wholeheartedly initiatives like this.

    Encourage a culture of entrepreneurship

    As a nation, we should be fostering hubs, incubators, accelerators and networks to bring the best talent together. Start early with outreach programmes aimed at young people while they are still in school. Initiatives such as South African Teen Entrepreneur Foundation and Young Opportunist Using Resources Sufficiently (Y.O.U.R.S) are among those that are fuelling a culture of youth entrepreneurship in South Africa.

    I believe that entrepreneurship is one way that youth everywhere, and especially in underprivileged areas, can become empowered to contribute to more a sustainable economy and a better society, and to also reach their goals. In closing, our youth need to stop hoping for something better to happen, but instead take matters in their own hands if they want to create better lives for themselves, and entrepreneurship could be the way. However, to achieve positive results, our government must create a more nurturing environment for young entrepreneurs.
    • Abram Molelemane is a media coordinator at Fetola
    Abram Molelemane
  • 70 Percent Youth Unemployed

    According to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Risk Report, youth unemployment in South Africa stands at a staggering 70 percent.

    The report states that South Africa has the third-highest unemployment rate in the world for people between the ages of 15 and 24.

    It says graduates and matriculants are struggling to find jobs due to stiff competition in the job market, adding that most of the young people today want everything now and it is that microwave generation.

    To read the article titled, “Not enough jobs for the youth,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Call to Tackle Poverty, Unemployment

    Small Business Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, has warned that people will rise up if there is no change in the levels of inequality, unemployment and poverty in South Africa.

    Speaking at the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry conference in Johannesburg, Zulu pointed out that, "When the people that have been struggling for many, many years find that the gap between the poor and the rich keeps on expanding, one day they will get up and say enough is enough…”

    She is of the view that if that happens, the government that will go out with guns blazing to shoot them, adding that, “Marikana was a very good example for us, we are not going to make that happen again."

    To read the article titled, “No change in inequality, poverty, unemployment will lead to people rising up: Lindiwe Zulu,” click here.

    Times Live
  • Confusion Over Zim Unemployment Rate

    Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change has recently described Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate of 85 percent as a ticking time bomb.
    In its 2013 election manifesto, President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party claimed unemployment levels stood at 60 percent.
    The secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union, Japhet Moyo, told a newspaper late in 2012 that the unemployment rate was between 80 and 90 percent while the country’s National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations suggested that overall unemployment in 2011 stood at 95 percent.
    To read the article titled, “Is Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate four percent, 60 percent or 95 percent?” click here.

    SABC News
  • Africa Urged to Modernise Farming

    At the 23rd African Union (AU) Summit, the chairperson of the AU, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, encouraged the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) to modernise farming as a means of attracting young women and men into the agricultural sector.

    Since its evolution from Organisation for African Unity to AU in 2000, the organisation has been battling with the impact of global financial crises threatening its vision of integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

    Agriculture remains a major source of food security and economic growth in Africa, according to African Economic Outlook 2014, which describes the sector is the main exports trade commodity in Africa valued at US$57 billion.

    To read the article titled, “Modernising agriculture to address youth unemployment in Africa,” click here.

    SABC News
  • South Africans Want Zuma to Create Jobs

    South Africans want President Jacob Zuma to focus on job creation in his State of the Nation Address.

    According to a survey conducted by Ipsos, 90 percent of respondents believe unemployment is serious and need to be dealt with urgently.

    Sixty-one percent of the people questioned felt the government is not doing well in reducing unemployment by creating jobs, while 61 percent of the people feel the government is not doing well in reducing unemployment by creating jobs.

    To read the article titled, “Zuma must focus on jobs: survey,” click here.

    Times Live
  • ILO: Weak Global Recovery Bad for Growth

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says a weak recovery from the 2008 global economic downturn has curtailed job growth around the world.

    The Geneva-based agency says that nearly 202 million workers were unemployed in 2013, up five million from the year before.

    It further says youth unemployment is a particular problem, with more than 74 million people aged 15 to 24 out of work in 2013, adding that the youth employment rate is more than 13 percent, more than twice the overall global jobless rate.

    To read the article titled, “ILO - weak global recovery has curtailed job growth,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Youth Unemployment Highest in the World

    According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risk 2014 report, South Africa has the third highest unemployment rate in the world for people between the ages of 15 to 24.
    The report, which estimates that more than 50 percent of young South Africans between 15 and 24 are unemployed, found that only Greece and Spain have higher unemployment in this age range than South Africa.
    "At the same time the rising cost of higher education has left a generation with unpayable debt and little chance of finding a job," it states.
    To read the article titled, “SA youth unemployment 3rd highest in world,” click here.

    Fin 24
  • Gordhan Encourages Entrepreneurship

    Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, says even though the government is trying everything in its power to create jobs, it is impossible for government to employ everyone.
    Speaking at the Forum, the minister urged all South African citizens to work together in improving the state of the country’s economy, he further encouraged people to start their own businesses.
    He denies any suggestions that his tough measures against ministers’ wasteful expenditure has got anything to do with the upcoming 2014 national elections.
    To read article titled, “Gordhan encourages entrepreneurship,” click here.

    SABC News
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