State of Unemployment Rates in African Countries

By Soko Directory Team / Published June 15, 2018 | 7:13 am



economic mobility

As the global economy recovers but with a growing labor force, global unemployment in 2018 is projected to remain at a similar level to last year’s, says a new report by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

According to the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2018, the global unemployment rate has been stabilizing after a rise in 2016. It is expected to have reached 5.6 percent in 2017, with the total number of unemployed exceeding 192 million persons.

While the rest of the world have their population somehow slowing, the same cannot be said about Africa; it continues to rise, and by 2050, the UN projects that it will have doubled from the current 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion.

The continent has more people aged below 20 than anywhere in the world. In a nutshell, the youngest populations are in sub-Saharan Africa, where the average percentage of the population under age 25 is 67 percent.

Unemployment has proved to be an overwhelming challenge in Kenya’s social, economic development since the nation gained its independence.in fact, youth unemployment has been the biggest concern since only 11.4 million youth are in employment.

According to a 2014 World Bank report, 20 percent of Africa’s population is between 15 and 24, this makes a fifth of the world’s youth population.

Kenya’s Unemployment Rate dropped to 11.47 percent in December 2017, from the previously reported number of 11.52 percent in December 2016.

The ministry of labor in Kenya points out that approximately 2.1 million individuals work for the formal industry while the rest 9.3 million are self-employed.

According to a recent survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), seven million Kenyans are unemployed. Out of these, 1.4 million have been desperately looking for work. The rest have given up on job hunting, with some opting to go back for further studies. The survey, released yesterday, paints a grim picture of the country’s unemployment levels while shattering the 40 percent unemployment rate myth.

According to the survey, up to 19.5 million Kenyans are active in the labor force, the majority of them in low-cadre, poor-paying jobs.

Still, this puts Kenya’s unemployment rate at 7.4 percent, a significant departure from a high of 40 percent that has been bandied around.

In 2016, there were about 25 million Kenyans in the working-age bracket of between 15 and 64 years. Out of these, 78 percent were economically active.

Since January 2016, more than 20 companies have either folded and shipped out or simply downsized, leaving thousands jobless. The situation worsened last year when the economy slowed down due to an extended electioneering period, reduced credit uptake by the private sector, and a crippling drought.

The Spectator Index released an analysis of the unemployment rates in different African Countries as shown below:

Congo – 46%                        Namibia – 34%                  South Africa – 27%

Angola – 26%                       Mozambique – 24%           Nigeria – 19%

Ethiopia – 17%                     Rwanda – 17%                    Tunisia – 15%

Sudan – 13%                         Algeria – 12%                     Egypt – 11%

Kenya – 11%                         Tanzania – 10%                  Morocco – 10%

Zambia – 7.5%                      Zimbabwe 5.1%                 Cameroon – 4.5%

Liberia – 4%

High population growth rate has been described as the key cause to the ever-widening employment gap. The rapid population growth rate in the country is generating rapid growth in the labor force.

Such high population growth rate is incomparable with the available arable land in the rural areas. Hence people tend to migrate to the urban areas in search of jobs aggravating unemployment in the urban areas.

The inappropriate education system also has been blamed for a large number of the unemployment crisis in the country.  Kenya education system prepares people for jobs are not there, the 8-4-4 system is designed to overcome this anomaly but it is intended to make people self-reliant. The education system of Kenya has been blamed for a long time as being behind the current crisis of youth unemployment in Kenya.

There have been reports that the system as is currently set does not train youths and students in schools to be job creators, but instead pumps them with the knowledge that enables them to become job seekers when they are done with schooling.

If the Kenya unemployment rate 2015 data is anything to go, the education system needs to be revised to churn out students that are self-reliant and not wholly dependent on getting employed. Students need to leave school with skills that they can turn into business opportunities that will help them lead a good life.




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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