BUSINESS: Uganda needs one million jobs to restrain unemployment – World Bank.

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Uganda will have to create more than one million jobs for the young population joining the labour market as the country’s workforce is expected to triple between 2030 and 2040.
This is due to the country’s huge population occasioned by the high fertility rate of six children per mother as indicated in the Uganda Jobs Strategy for Inclusive report released by the World Bank (WB).

The WB report indicates that Uganda’s population growth rate as of 2016 stands at 3.3 per cent, the second fastest growing and youthful population in the world. This, coupled with a slow economy, could potentially create an unemployment crisis unless serious interventions are made.
The report made in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and Uganda National Bureau of Statistics was launched in Kampala on Tuesday.
The WB report also reveals that the economy has not been growing fast enough to match the population.

“Between 1992 and 2014, more than 300,000 additional workers entered the labour market annually. The numbers will increase rapidly in the future: between 2014 and 2030, the number of entrants per year will double and between 2030 and 2041, the number of new entrants will exceed one million each year,” the report states.
“Between 2000 and 2012, Uganda’s GDP increased nearly by 7 per cent per year on average, one of the highest growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa. The growth has, however, been slowing down since 2006, dipping below five per cent in 2016,” the WB further states.

The Bank said Uganda will, therefore, need to accelerate transformation of agriculture from rudimentary to modern practices to harness its potential to create jobs and create economic transformation.
Agriculture still remains the country’s largest employer with 72 per cent of waged youth employed in the sector, despite the sector’s contribution to GDP having fallen over the years.

“Agriculture, food production and services particularly have strong potential for jobs and economic growth… Agriculture is by far the largest employer in Uganda and so improving the productivity of jobs in the broader food and horticulture is obviously a priority… Agriculture is labour intensive with high employment elasticities …involving those most marginalised: the poor, women, the youth and rural citizens,” the report says.
The report also recommends improving access to agricultural inputs, use of technology, improving land security, offering improved storage for products, and implementation of regional trade agreements, among others.

The report also scoffs at the popular approach of training institutions producing job creators, and not job seekers as a “flawed strategy that would make conditions worse unless demand increases faster.” The Bank rather recommends that focus be shifted to producing more exports as well as displacing imports in selected domestic markets.
Minister of State for Investment and Privatisation Evelyn Anite said unemployment poses great risk to the country and it is the reason government is partnering with the private sector to create more jobs.
Ms Anite said government has changed the approach to job creation by embracing industrialisation and agribusiness.
“We started the Youth Livelihood Programme to be the programme designed to curb unemployment rate in Uganda but unfortunately, the young people did not consider themselves employed..,” she said.

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