Youth Unemployment in Somaliland: Challenges and Opportunities

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According to Somaliland National Youth Policy (2013) 70% of Somaliland’s Population are the below the age of 30 years. Out of this proportion, 40% are between the ages of 15-29. As this number is gaining momentum, so does the percentage of unemployment in the country.

While youth have substantial effect on the socio-demographic profile of the country, there are numerous challenges which hinder them to have positive impact on the economic structures including diverse businesses, investment companies and national large-scale corporations. However, factors like absence of inclusiveness opportunities in the country and lack of effective youth political engagement became the dominant players that create physical and mental barrier to youth because youth leadership qualities are undermined with few believing they can make huge difference to overall country development. In addition, tribalism and clan-divisions slow down efforts to create jobs for youth as youth are incapable of determining cooperative actions to seek jobs and improve their lives in the future. As a result, this prevents them from establishing youth-led pressure groups and unions that channel their voice and collective decisions.

On the other hand, there are few yet ineffective opportunities for youth. Exposing youth to business innovation ventures is an opportunity window where youth can showcase unique and useful entrepreneurial contributions but without existence of policy-driven investment, this is quite impossible. There are also many international and local organizations implementing youth job-seeking skills projects. These projects equip both university graduates and those with business innovations with the most desirable skills that can best help them reach their personal and professional dreams. Therefore, this can lower the number of youth unemployment in the country yet the number of service providers and unevenness of services can make less possible to cover all Somaliland religions within a very short period of time.

In essence, youth in Somaliland are increasing in number with poor skills to search for jobs and inadequate investment institutions and resources to extensively combat youth unemployment. Economic development which promises decent jobs for youth can at the same time narrow the gap between youth population and the job opportunities available in the labour market.

Mohamed Rashid Hussein

Mohamed Rashid Hussein

Social worker and Development Practitioner

Email: mohamedrashid402@gmail.com / + 252 63 4002027

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horndiplomat editorial policy.


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