Friday, 21 October 2016

Creating not jobs, Africa sitting on a dynamite



 Image result for pictures of jobless african youths
Who will bail the cat? Our schools are training graduates to come out and be looking for jobs. They are not trained to create jobs. When Africa have the youngest  population in the world and that population is supposed to be its strength. But is it? Future of any nation is in the hands of its youths, future of the universe is in the hands of the youths. Youths are the hope of the world. Especially if the youths themselves are not docile waiting for almost everything to be brought to them at the table.

Africa is great and greater is the strength of its youths, but the population is negatively glaring in uprising and consistent rising of armed conflicts across the continent in chart flow. I have watched Africa working on weak institutions and building on strong individuals and can not but wonder why? Why our system seems not to be working.

How youths are also building on this, how so many are attempting to change the curve. And you will realize the need to awake and unite as youths. I urge you to tell the other youths about this awakening. Tell them to leverage on the greatest strength they have, which is our future asset. I mean the size and quality of youths across the continent.  Above all, what I see is that Africa needs a younger voice as its voice seems persistently old and aged. Africa needs young leaders to rejuvenate it or else it will fade off in global relevance in no time. That is bitter truth and there is no apology.

The greatest challenge of youths in Africa is unemployment. Africa is witnessing rising unemployment with six African countries top ranked among First-Ten countries with highest rate of unemployment.Image result for pictures of jobless african youths On the lead is Zimbabwe, where unemployment  is alarming. Just a few days back, I read a cover story in economist with a title “Hopeless Africa” and was stunned. So much that I task if really Africa is hopeless, or is the heading worthy for publication. I then encouraged myself that it is time Africans must begin to write and tell its stories by ourselves no matter how the story is.

As African youth, are you thinking of  how you can rewrite hope on the minds of the people? A cover story with a title “Hopeful Africa”  can in the real sense radiate hopefulness and liberate us from the pin, emancipating ourselves from mental slavery.  To start with, we must first begin to appreciate our own; begin to change narratives, begin to create and look for “Black Collar Jobs” instead of “White Collar Jobs”.  White collar jobs are no more there in Africa. They have gone with the winds.  It went away with the colonial masters when Africa was liberated, but we never knew it till now that we are searching for it.  Black Color Jobs are entrepreneurial, informal and indigenous untapped potentials of our people.

In this context, Black collar jobs are jobs created by young Africans for young Africans in Africa and to the world. Black Collar jobs produces products and services that attracts international spend into Africa market.  Politically in Africa, the problem begins when there are no spaces for youths in leadership role and this hampers their creativity socially, economically and other wise. Having a lot of young people in numbers ordinarily ought to be advantage than concerned problem as it seems in Africa . When Government finds it difficult to create or provide enabling environment  for jobs creation, that alone is frustrating. Frustration that can lead to violence; and is only timed bomb for African leaders. This may soon explode. They are sitting on dynamite. I see revolution coming one day.  I see it clearly. But this time it will come peacefully. Yet I can see it coming.  Image result for pictures of jobless african youths

Let me quickly replay an event on of 17th December 2010 in Tunisia of Mohammed Bouaziz; a young graduate that couldn’t get a white collar job after graduation.  He started a “Black Collar Job” – small grocery shop. Then  police authority led by a woman, questioned him for permits to sell. She  slapped him for not being able to afford himself a permit. And Mohammed got angry and set himself ablaze for government insensitivity to his plight of self reliance, and that event  put Tunisia ahoy.

I remember, that was the beginning of Arab spring that spread to Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and present Syria. I saw this as one way youth can express their energy when it is not properly used by the Government.
 Responsible Government creates enabling environment for job creation and allows small businesses to grow especially. But in Africa this is opposite. As policies are stifling new businesses at embryo through high taxation for revenues generation.  Government Regulations are not at ease and  make life of new businesses dead. There are no funding net to encourage new ideas and fund them to grow. New ideas and invention championed by youths are or may be resisted for reason not too tenable.

There are no mentorship platforms.  Youths barely have access to loans and if they do, the terms are so hard to meet.  To worsen matters, financial institutions make it so difficult for young entrepreneurs to meet up with financial support criteria. Whereas, loans are given to the established individuals in the  society, to families members of those working in financial institutions, friends and cronies without much ado.
                  
The older generation seems to have failed the present, and the present will fail the future if nothing is done about it now. It is too bad to know that for instance in some countries, there are no clear youth policy in place.  There are absent of political will to youth agenda, when political statement can not be taken as promissory note? When promissory note of African leaders is unclear to youths and is  not bankable? When leaders’ rule in auto-democracy for so long years  how bankable is such democracy?  When leadership is recycled among the same old politicians that ruled us before, what do you make of that?

When youths are only used as tool for negatives/ violence  by politicians and dumped after election? When youths believes carry arms against another is what makes a hero, what do you expect?  I tell you, Africa greatest problem is sit-tight- to- power syndrome. And it is this sit- tight- syndrome that does not allowed free market that creates jobs. And if we will correct that and align Africa as emerging market, then sit tight leaders must begin to go, now and forever. Africa is youth and youths are Africa. Let create Africa we want together.