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Sociological Analysis of Youth Employment in Africa

This is why the issue of employment is situated first of all at the level of the policy drawn up and implemented by a State

Mohamed Lamine KABA

Does the issue of employment for young Africans arise for States or other institutions and private structures or for individual initiatives?

To ask such a question is to address, in the background, the issue of youth employment. It also means granting an extension to the concept of employment by broadening it to any income-generating activity, allowing an individual or a group of individuals the possibility of living decently in relative autonomy.

Thus, according to the regimes, the State is largely the provider of employment or else it essentially plays the role of regulator by accentuating its governance efforts to create employment opportunities in the private and informal sectors.

So everything depends on the nature of the regime, on the capacity of a State to mobilize resources (human, financial, material, etc.) to create what we have agreed to call development factors, in particular In other words, macroeconomic indicators (GDP, GNP, debt services, balance of payment, etc.), thanks to sustained growth.

Similarly, globalization and the international economic context require of each State a partnership likely to highlight the comparative advantages accompanied by areas of cooperation and exchange of products and services. The African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECAF) is an illustrative example.

Nowadays, it is becoming more and more obvious that the welfare state is no longer relevant because it cannot be effective in an international context that promotes the private sector while breaking down the borders between States and even between continents.

However, the state must always be there. Because, whatever one says, the constitution of supranational groups has not finished supplanting the States, taken individually, because they are still directly held responsible for the fate of their respective citizens.

This is why the issue of employment is situated first of all at the level of the policy drawn up and implemented by a State.

Of course, at certain levels, such as that of the European Union, the problem of employment is posed on a higher scale which relegates the State to the background and makes it the actor of a system .

Even better, the question of youth employment, like employment in general, depends heavily on the level of economic development of a State.

Indeed, the strong economic dependence of a State slows down the dash of the economic prospects which must open the way to employment opportunities in particular at the level of the young people in search of their first job.

On the other hand, it should be noted that this is not an exclusive factor which would explain the inability of a State to create employment opportunities. Bad governance, in clear terms, the unjust distribution due to corruption on the part of the rulers is more crucial to explain the problem of employment in developing countries. These rulers are not very concerned about the general interest and are not subject to real pressure, neither from inside nor from outside their respective States.

To counter this situation, the fight against corruption and the promotion of good governance must be conducted jointly under pressure from the African Union and civil society organizations. Hence the relevance of structural and institutional reform in order to establish social balance in an enamelled approach of social justice.

In this momentum of the search for well-being for each and all, the dynamics of civil society organizations would be more decisive and could further motivate the public authorities to put more pressure and commitment on the part of development partners, especially the system United Nations.

Long live African solidarity! /-


Article written by

Mr. Mohamed Lamine KABA

Sociologist by training


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