Malawi govt focusing on entrepreneurship to solve youth unemployment crisis – Minister

Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila has said government is focusing on providing entrepreneurship skills to enable youths carry out some small-scale businesses rather than providing employment to them.

Kasaila (L) meets Gerrmann at the
meeting .-photo by Abel Ikiloni

Kasaila speaking when he presided over the official launch of the youth inclusion project- Photo by Abel Ikiloni

Kasaila said young generation is living in a new economic climate, one that is replacing the older employment model their parents grew up with.

He was speaking in Lilongwe on Tuesday when he presided over the official launch of the Youth Well-Being Policy Review European Union (EU)-OECD youth inclusion project.

Kasaila said the  youth should start considering entrepreneurship as a career choice, instead of looking to be absorbed into the already constricted job market.

He said the Government has put in place the necessary institutions and policies for youth development, his Ministry and the National Youth Council of Malawi are two Government agencies mandated to coordinate youth activities in the country.

Entrepreneurship schemes can promote skills in young people “with the aim of creating and managing sustainable and efficient businesses capable of providing permanent jobs and employment growth”, Kasaila said.

However , a report by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), has  revealed that only 2.2 percent of the country’s youths enrol in public vocational skills training institutions yearly due to high education level requirements for one to enrol in the institutions.

OECD has, therefore, recommended that government should increase the number of Technical Entrepreneurship and Vocational Education Training (Tevet) institutions, courses and offerings with lower entry requirement if the country is to develop in this field.

Kasaila assured youths in the country that government will consider the recommendations of the project.

“My Ministry has already started responding to some of the gaps raised in the report, especially as it relates to coordination of stakeholders in the subsector, to better respond to the need and aspirations of young people,” Kasaila explained.

The Minister observed that this is to address the issues of silo programming, as a result of weak coordination and realizing that youth issues fall or anchored in different portfolios, a Principal Secretaries’ Inter-ministerial Committee on Adolescents and Youth was established.

Kasaila added that the committee draws membership from all Government Ministries that have youth programs.

EU Ambassador Marchel Gerrmann,speaking at the event, urged government and other stakeholders to invest in youths education.

“It is crucial that the youth are educated as it will allow them to enter the workforce and make a decent living for themselves and their families.

“In turn, they will contribute to the national development by paying taxes, setting up small enterprises and participating actively in society,” he said.

Gerrmann said according to the Youth Well-Being Policy Review report, 46 percent of the country’s population is aged under 15 years while the youth aged between 15 and 29 represent over a quarter of the population.

The youth inclusion project, which is being co-financed by the EU in Malawi, has also been implemented in 10 other countries across the world.

The project, which has been running since 2015, seeks to support countries to better respond to aspirations of young people and their involvement in national development processes

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get rid of expatriate security guards to create jobs for the youth.

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