Unemployment is not limited to Nigeria nor Africa, it is a global ordeal. This must be carefully understood, also adequate actions must be taken over it.
Being born in a cultured community like Nigeria gives someone like me no option than to make some personal decisions as regards how I want my life to look like as a young teenager. I was taught by my father that life is a battle field and those who find themselves in the good side of life end up becoming successful. Millions of aspiring children like me never had any other life apart from the life the society prescribed for us.
Society and family told us we must get formal education – attending a primary school, proceeding to a secondary school, then to the university, graduate with good grades, then we have a good reward of a lucrative job somewhere waiting for us. Society even took a step ahead to prescribe the most lucrative profession, as a matter of fact choosing a career was a big deal – it was a family decision, for the little few who never had parental influence in choosing a career did not escape the societal influence. Even when you thought you are choosing a career of your choice, ignorantly to you, your decision is influenced by societal set-up.
I believed what was told me by my parents – I studied hard to be a good boy, I wanted to be on the good side of life, I wanted to be great. The sad reality is that a lot changed over time, what seem to have worked during the generation ahead of us began to fail. When I was in the university, the reality that there are no jobs anywhere hit me hard and I knew there had to be another way.
The International Labor Organization has made us know that there are 200 million unemployed people in the world. The Global Employment Trend for Youths 2015 report indicates a decline in the overall number of unemployed youth to 73.3 million in 2014. That is 3.3 million less than the crisis topmost of 76.6 million in 2009. According to Youth Business International (YBI); there are 75 million unemployed youths, also according to the National Bureau of Statistics; unemployment rate stands at 19.1% in the first quarter of 2016.
Compared to 2012, the youth unemployment rate has declined by 1.4 percentage points in Developed Economies and the European Union and by a half percentage or less in the Central and South-Eastern Europe (non-EU) and CIS, Latin America and likewise the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa. The remaining regions which include: East Asia, South-East Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa – experienced an increase in the youth unemployment rate between 2012 and 2014 respectively, or remained stagnant in the case of South Asia.
It must be noted that unemployment is a global phenomenon, not something particular to Nigeria or Africa alone. Some of the developed countries are experiencing minimal reduction because the embrace of entrepreneurial activities. It will interest you to know that unemployment rate in France – 10.3%, Greece – 26.3%, Italy – 11.4%, Spain – 19.7%, and even Portugal – 12.4%, it is not a Nigerian or African factor, rather a global reality.
It is most shocking to know that the demographic of people affected the most by the unemployment rates are the youths – who else? According to OECD, Here are the top countries with the highest youth unemployment rates: Spain – 53.2%, Greece – 52.4%, South/Africa – 51.3%, Italy – 42.7%, Portugal – 34.8%. The global unemployment rate is a direct attack on the youths; we just cannot find a place in today’s world.
Here is my submission to millions of youths like me out there who cannot find a job after the rigor of going to school, especially those like me who were promised to live happily ever after school; it is time for a paradigm shift – a time to take responsibilities for our lives, a time to create the job we desire and crave, it is time to be responsible to our nation. We cannot afford to still posses the mentality of waiting for what the nation or the government will do for us or blaming the society and government for our failures. We cannot afford to be a consuming nation anymore, rather a producing nation. We will do ourselves a whole lot of good if we settle at the back of our minds that there are no jobs and we are responsible to create those jobs.
Here is my submission to the Nigerian and African parents. Formal education doesn’t necessarily guarantee a fulfilled and wealthy life; it may have been two or three decades ago, but not the reality of this day. Parents must learn to encourage their wards to develop any talent they seem to possess, this trends has been getting better but it has to get better. If a child possess great quality in playing football, singing, comedy, dancing or whatever – support that ward, that may just be his/her touching point to the world.
Here is also my submission to every reputable organization out there; your Corporate Social Responsibility should be geared towards entrepreneurial feat for the youths, supporting great business ideas and innovations, creating economic empowerment centers, technical colleges and so many more great ideas.
This economic revolution is possible in Nigeria and Africa.
We can do it!
Finally, if you find this piece useful, kindly use the social media icons below to share with friends, someone out there also deserve to read this. I’ll be glad you did. Just in case you have a comment, question or clarification, you know what to do – click the contact segment and leave me a mail; I’ll be itching to hear from you. I love, I care.