Dar es Salaam. The government is working on a comprehensive strategy aimed at addressing youth’s unemployment in the country, a matter labelled as a time bomb.
The initiatives include establishing a commercial bank that will specifically come up with tailor-made services that target young entrepreneurs, President Samia Suluhu Hassan, said in Mwanza yesterday.
Addressing youth across the country through those based in Mwanza, the Head of State said currently, 11.4 percent of Tanzania’s youthful population that’s in the working age do not have jobs.
She said it was in an effort to deal with such a challenge when she met with President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, agreed on addressing the issue as well as increasing vocational training in the country.
“In the meeting he promised to increase the number of vocational training institutions and to establish an entrepreneurs’ bank that would specifically service the youth,” she said. “The establishment of this bank would help in addressing access to capital challenge that is facing the youth in the country,” said the President.
In addressing the issue of financing to the youth, the Head of State said the government has so far implemented credits funds and programmes like the Youth Development Fund (YDF) that has extended more than Sh5.4 billion benefiting more than 6,293 young people.
“The government has also directed district councils to spend 10 percent of their total revenue to provide soft loans to special groups including youth, however regardless of these initiatives the capital crunch to youth is still there, and its major problem,” she noted.
In his remarks one of the youth representatives, Mr Jumanne Kalega, said being the major country’s workforce the youth have the potential to contribute to the growth of the economy especially in the agriculture, livestock and fishing sectors.
“We have the chance to support the state industrialization policy through these key sectors but first challenges such as access to financing should be addressed,” he said.
“We appreciate the President’s remarks to the central bank regarding reduction of loan interest rates, this would help youth in accessing credits for their entrepreneurial activities,” he added.
Another challenge is access to business sites especially for street vendors ‘machinga’. She then directed council officials to set sites that are accessible by many people for small scale businesses to trade from.
The meeting also saw a number of cabinet ministers outlining what they were doing in their various dockets to deal with challenges facing youth.
The Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Ms Ummy Mwalimu, and her Home Affairs counterpart, George Simbachawane, outlined strategic policies to tackle challenges facing the youth in the country.
Ms Mwalimu said President Hassan had dished out Sh11.2 billion for addressing the challenges of education in the Lake Zone regions.
She said the government would release Sh600 million for each of 214 constituencies across the country for the construction of ward schools whereby MPs would propose the ward in which the school should be constructed.
“Each school will have eight classrooms, three labs, latrines and staff houses,” she said.
For his part, Simbachawene said his ministry, through the Police Force, would enforce the rule of law and called upon the youth to do legitimate jobs to earn incomes and avoid committing crimes because, he warned, they would be in trouble.
“Many youth people in the country are good citizens, but those few of them, who are getting involved in criminal activities must change and go for legitimate ones because crime has no chance,” said Simbachawene.
For his part, Energy minister Medard Kalemani said due to intermittent power cuts in the Lake Zone regions, the government had allocated Sh3.7 billion for improving the electricity infrastructure to end the problem.
“Reliable power supply for the youth is the driving force for the growth of the economy,” he said.
Mr Kelemani also urged the youth to make investments, saying that the government had allocated Sh366 billion for installing power in all the regions of the Lake Zone.
For his part, Minerals minister Doto Biteko promised to offer the youth with the opportunity of mining minerals and increasing their values.
“There are many youths in mines in the country, who are more than 76 percent,” revealed Biteko
Sports and Arts
The government wants to protect and spur growth in sports and art because it has employed many youth in music, film, tradition and culture activities, according to the President.
In protecting the interests of the youths that employ themselves through art and sport from December they will start to receive royalty payments.
“From December 2021 artists will start receiving royalty payments for their work playing on televisions, radios and online,” she said.
The President also directed the minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Innocent Bashungwa to start thinking on the establishment of regional sports academies, which will help in talent development.
In his remarks minister Bashungwa said in the era where employment is difficult, focusing on Talents developments is very important in widening the scope for youths to support themselves.
He said Youths can also develop their creativity and talents through the vocational training that is provided in Tanzania.
“So, I would like to instruct the sports and art institutions to be mobile countrywide so that they can reach and serve large percent of the youth in the countryside,” he said.
Youth and leadership
Apart from the economic contribution, youths also have the potential to facilitate clean politics and support democracy, says Goodluck Nyingo, a youth representative from Mwanza.
“Youth can concentrate on good policies and ideology instead of politics that is led by emotions,” he said.
In leadership positions the President later hinted that the government is also keen on putting more youths in the leadership positions through appointments to boost their engagements in the state administration.
“There is another ‘mkeka’ (appointments) coming for district commissioners which tells you they are all youths,” she said.