The unemployment rate in the East African region keeps getting worse. Stats show that more than 80 percent of the young people in East Africa are without jobs.
Even as academic institutions continue to channel graduates in the already saturated job market, East African governments still cripple with the means of how to absorb their unemployed youth.
According to UNDP, Kenya leads other East African countries with the largest number of people who are unemployed. Records show that one in every 5 Kenyans is unemployed as compared to Tanzania where one in every 20 Tanzanians is without a job.
The unemployment rate in Kenya, by the end of 2017, stood at 39.1 percent with the majority of the unemployed being the youth. Academic institutions have largely been blamed for producing half-baked individuals who cannot fit in the current evolved job market.
The greatest employer in Kenya is currently the informal sector (jua kali) which employs more than 86 percent of the workforce and controlling close to 80 percent of the economy. The sector, however, faces numerous challenges including inadequate funding, tough business environment, and inadequate training among those within it.
The unemployment rate in Tanzania stands at 24 percent. President John Pombe Magufuli has been striving to fight corruption and opening up opportunities for the young people in the country to find jobs. However, tough rules on the use of websites and social media have driven some young Tanzanians out of business.
Ethiopia’s unemployment rate stands at 21.6 percent while that of Uganda is at 18.1 percent. Most young people in Uganda have taken to farming due to huge tracks of fertile lands in the country.
For Kenyans, the unemployment rate might not be coming down soon. The white-collar jobs are still limited and more graduates continue to pour into the job market.