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Uganda must focus on industrialisation for jobs

The Parliament of Uganda recently advertised for 27 jobs but received almost 10,000 applications. Out of these, only 4,000 were shortlisted.

It is from these that the lucky 27 will be chosen. This story underlines the gigantic unemployment problem that Uganda has to contend with. Every year, universities and other tertiary institutions churn out hundreds of thousands of youths but only a few can be absorbed in the small job market.

Thus the majority of post-school youths are languishing in the city, towns and villages of Uganda. Many parents are beginning to wonder why it’s even necessary to pay fees in universities when there is no certainty that their children will get employment thereafter.

This state of affairs is not only an economic problem, but also a political landmine waiting to explode. Meanwhile, the youths are being advised to look to agriculture for employment. This is quite misleading.

Not everyone can be a farmer; in fact, in advanced economies, the proportion of people involved in the agricultural sector pales in comparison to those in manufacturing and services.

In addition, commercial farming has high start-up costs and is a very risky undertaking, making it inappropriate for youths. Besides, no country has ever developed on the basis of agriculture. It should simply be a vehicle to guarantee food security and raw materials for agro-industries.

That leaves industrialisation as the only tried and tested way through which Uganda and other African countries can create millions of jobs for their people and transform their economies.

Unfortunately, we are not aware of the government’s industrialisation strategy or master plan. Yes, some efforts are worth acknowledging – like the massive investment in dams and other infrastructure, and the slow move to build industrial parks. But these efforts seem to be isolated and uncoordinated.

Has government indentified the industries that give Uganda a comparative advantage so as to focus on those? For instance, Ethiopia has gone all out with leather and textiles; what is Uganda’s strategy?

Building industrial parks without spelling out who should occupy them on the basis of considerations such as job creation, value addition and technology transfer might prove counterproductive.

Comments

0 #1 Akot 2017-07-17 18:33
[majority of post-school youths are languishing in the city, towns and villages of Uganda. Many parents are beginning to wonder why it’s even necessary to pay fees in universities when there is no certainty that their children will get employment thereafter.]

Those who get scholarship to study/train abroad don't come back - their countries don't give them means to exploite knowledge obtained abroad with the right equipments!

Today developed countries are in the same situation: their National Education bring so many on job market/training schools, but technology has destroyed-taken over too many jobs & their school curriculums are not adopted to the change!

After change of governance, Education-Agriculutre must be priority & must be adopted to technology-modernization!

Without the right leadership, Uganda young have no chance, so they must bring the change needed!
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0 #2 Akot 2017-07-17 18:38
[This state of affairs is not only an economic problem, but also a political landmine waiting to explode. Meanwhile, the youths are being advised to look to agriculture for employment.]

In other word (Lakwena is right), present governance is sending the youth to labour in Agriculutre with 18 century tools that will make them sick-old in no time, while they, the goons in position will live +80 years!

Even these youngs' children will die before these demons who call themselves leaders-elders!
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0 #3 Akot 2017-07-17 18:44
[Not everyone can be a farmer; in fact, in advanced economies, the proportion of people involved in the agricultural sector pales in comparison to those in manufacturing and services.]

Right!

Agricultural in dev.countries is modernized & subsidized & only need seasonal workers for harvest!
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0 #4 Akot 2017-07-17 18:56
[commercial farming has high start-up costs and is a very risky undertaking, making it inappropriate for youths. Besides, no country has ever developed on the basis of agriculture. It should simply be a vehicle to guarantee food security and raw materials for agro-industries.]

Agreed, yet,

For Uganda, Agriculute that is means of living for millions of families MUST be modernizdd/subsidized by government!

After all, is it not families that labour with 18 century tools to provision food markets-give government money to educate children...?

Families that produces food-sells some to make sure those who don't farm get food are important to the country, right?

This makes farming famillies that feed themselves/sells some to educate children... assets to the country!

Would modernizing Agriculute-Subsidizing it make government demon?
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+1 #5 Martha L. Nangalama 2017-07-18 19:13
I think OBSERVER is gonna have to put AKOT on payroll. S/he actually does a great analysis for the articles he comments on.

But let me disagree with you katono. AND I will only speak for Canada. The education system keeps evolving with the times.

Where we had most people shooting for University, we now have many Technical Colleges where a diploma of 2yrs gets you a job.

Kids also learn everything possible in IT starting from I think even grade 1. They have what they call Computer Class or Life skills or Social Studies where kids learn about jobs, budgeting, etc.

Then the kids are allowed to work from age 14 (12 for baby sitting) and the employers cannot allocate too many hours to the little ones to interfere with home work.

By the time a kid goes to University, they have likely held 3 or 4 jobs. So leaving University with no job offer is nothing. They go to a low paying job and wait for the good one.
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+1 #6 Martha L. Nangalama 2017-07-18 19:16
One more thing. There are career centres at most schools where employers post jobs.

There are career advisors. Kids write solid CVs even in P5. AND they write eloquently. Our graduates cannot articulate.

They write horribly. They cannot write a one page essay to apply for a job or scholarship. They do not know how to use Google.

They use Social Media to attack and abuse when they should use it to learn and find opportunities. Inherent in the poor communication skills, they cannot follow basic instructions.

So even if we industrialise, who wants to hand hold a degree holder and tell them what to do all the time?

The education system is completely bastardized. You can hire a Kenyan to do the work of 4 Ugandans. Reason likely why China brings in Chinese for most all the work.

CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY. Education in Uganda is overrated.
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0 #7 Akot 2017-07-20 19:11
Martha L. Nangalama, thanks!

If I Akot was listened to, museveni would have been out a long time ago!

The entire world use media to Unite to bring down dictators-make governments put in better projects...but Ugandans use media to insult-humiliate-reaffirm tribal belonging in a country that do not belong to any of them any more!

Any other oppressed people would be so proud to have Akot, yet not even Acholi listen to Akot otherwise they would have been Independent Tribal State a while ago while waiting for all the other tribes that brough in museveni to make up their minds, more so Acholi was excluded-killed-locked in refugee camps-sent into exile for 30 years!

I don't even understand why there are Acholi tribal leaders helping keep the tribalistic system?

Ugandans MUST wake up or the next 30 years is already written by museveni!
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0 #8 Akot 2017-07-20 19:25
Martha L. Nangalama,

You know, one Ugandan I will not mention even when I still have his/her comment, said Akot was boring always saying the same thing!

Akot has only been on this forum for 6 years while museveni who no one says is boring, has been on for 31 years & will be there for yet another 30, seeing the dictator has already started house cleaning to be the only winner of the fake next election!

Museveni has legally-constitutionally lured USA-EU-UN into the tribalistic system that goes against their very principles/reason of existence!

In fact everybody works for & admires museveni!

Every country changes leadership, even UN, exept Uganda & all go by the disgusting tribalistic system diplomatically with smile-hand shake-making tribally divided & ruled Uganda home for refugees running away from tribally generated wars!

Museveni has turned the entire world upside down!
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