Kenya tops East Africa’s list of youth joblessness
Kenya, East Africa’s biggest economy, holds the dubious distinction of being the country with the largest number of unemployed youth in the region, a new World Bank report says.
The report, officially released yesterday, says Kenya’s rate of unemployment — now standing at three times that of the neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania — is also among the highest in the world.
The report says that nearly one in every five Kenyan youths of working age has no job compared to Uganda and Tanzania where about one in every 20 young people is jobless, underlining the harsh economic reality that Kenyan youths are facing.
Unemployment among Kenya’s youth is now estimated to stand at 17.3 per cent compared to six per cent for both Uganda and Tanzania.
Mass joblessness, especially among the sprightly and innovative youth, is a drag on the economy because it forces unemployed adults to depend on the small working class, stretches family resources and consumes savings for future investments.
The World Bank report says mass unemployment continues to deny Kenya the opportunity to put its growing labour force to productive use, thereby “denying the economy the demographic dividend from majority young population”.
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