Why one in three Kenyan youths wants to go abroad


More than one in every three Kenyan youths would leave the country to find a better job abroad, escape poverty or pursue an education if given a chance, a new survey has found.

The study conducted by a pan-African research network, AfroBarometer, reveals that at least 35 percent of Kenyan youth have at some point considered leaving the country to live abroad.

The research released yesterday was conducted in 33 other African countries.

“The most popular destination among potential emigrants is neither Europe nor North America, but another African country. This suggests that if you have a country near you that is thriving economically then you better move there so Europe should now start considering how to boost Africa’s economic growth because clearly they may not have a lot of desire to go to Europe,” Afrobarometer Executive Director Gyimah Boadi said.

Kenya was ranked 20th among the countries comprising youths who have high desire to migrate from Africa, behind its neighbours Uganda and Sudan where more people wanted to leave and stay abroad.

Cape Verde, where only 42 percent of the citizens want to stay, had lowest score, followed by Sierra Leone where 59 percent want to migrate and Gambia where 56 percent have thought about migrating. Togo and Sao Tome complete the five worst performers with 54 percent of residents in both countries angling to leave for a better life abroad.

Mauritius had the best record, according to the survey.

A 2017 World Bank survey found Kenya had the highest rate of youth unemployment in East Africa, with 17 percent of all young people eligible for work lacking jobs. Neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda had comparable rates of 5.5 and 6.8 percent respectively.

Mr Boadi said that contrary to popular belief that most Africans would like to move out of the continent, intra-continental migration is a fast-growing phenomenon.

The survey found that young adults and highly-educated citizens are most likely to consider leaving Africa, pointing to a potential brain drain on the continent.

Potential emigrants are also more numerous among men (40 percent) and urban residents (44 percent) than among women (35 percent) and rural dwellers (32 percent).

At 65 percent of its population not considering migration, Kenya ranks better compared to Nigeria where 64 percent want to stay. In Tanzania though, only 14 percent want to leave, ranking among the least countries where people want to migrate from. Madagascar reported only 13 percent of potential emigrants.

Europe still remains a strong attraction for African emigrants compared to North America with the two regions attracting 27 and 22 percent of potential emigrants from Africa.

“Migration in most cases is not a bad idea since both the destination country and the country of origin stand to benefit. Africa receives close to $34 billion every year from their emigrants living abroad. We however need a fundamental change on how we approach employment and traditional forms of agriculture to make people comfortable at home,” said Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.

Source Business Daily Africa


Job-hunting can exacerbate poverty for unemployed SA youth, study finds

The cost of job-hunting is one of the reasons many young people remain unemployed in South Africa.

Unemployment in the country has increased from 21.5% to 27.2% over the last decade.

Researcher Lauren Graham is part of a team that’s collecting data for an ongoing study that explores the cost of looking for work.

The Siyakha Youth Assets for Employability Study assess whether government programmes are effectively helping young people in their efforts to find employment.

Young people are engaged in fairly intensive job search activities – which we would expect given the high rates of unemployment – but they are spending exorbitant amounts on the cost of work-seeking.

— Lauren Graham, Director at Centre for Social Development In Africa – University Of Johannesburg
The study has found that young South Africans spend an average of R938 a month looking for work, Graham explains.

Transport, internet access, printing, application fees and agent’s fees are some of the expenses jobseekers face.

Graham argues that job-hunting has become a process that exacerbates poverty for low-income households.

They come from poor households, where the household income is about R2500 a month. The cost of work-seeking is a significant chunk of household income.

— Lauren Graham, Director at Centre for Social Development In Africa – University Of Johannesburg
We argue that this makes it a poverty exacerbating process. Households have to make difficult decisions and it becomes complex for young people.

— Lauren Graham, Director at Centre for Social Development In Africa – University Of Johannesburg
The study recommends that the government should invest more in labour centres and other support services to lessen the burden on young people and help them improve their prospects of finding work.

Source Cape Talk

Uganda: African Economies Must Accommodate Youths, Says Yoweri Museveni

By Paul Ampurire

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has highlighted the emerging concern of youths who continue to be sidelined in the economy amid Africa’s rapidly growing population, arguing this must be addressed.

The President made the comment while in Davos, Switzerland where he is attending this year’s World Economic Forum. Museveni was Thursday speaking at interactive pannel discussion titled “Peace Building in Africa”, on the sidelines of the ongoing forum.

The discussion was moderated by Bineta Diop, the African Union Chairperson’s special Envoy on Women peace and security.

“Besides the traditional political and ideological conflict Africa has always faced, there is a new but healthier conflict posed by it’s growing population, which now stands at 1,3 billion people,” the president said.

“The bigger concern is the youth segment which is not accommodated by the economies,” he said, adding “it is these socio – economic issues that we must address while avoiding the usual ideological conflicts.”

He also pointed out the need to address challenges of infrastructure development, electricity and skills in order to embrace a new revolution.

Museveni arrived in Davos on Tuesday to join global thinkers and leaders in politics, business and culture, to discuss how to make globalization work for everyone – the theme for this year’s summit.

During the past few days, Museveni has met and held discussions with among others Prof Klaus Martin Schweb, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The President informed Prof Klaus that Uganda was willing to host the next World Economic Forum on Africa. He said it will be an honour for Uganda to host a meeting of such significance. The last WEF (on African) was held in South Africa.

Museveni also met with the executive director of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, and his team. The two leaders discussed “Means of Strengthening co – operation” between Uganda and World Food Program.

World Food Program is involved in several Humanitarian operations in Uganda given the over 1 million refugees that are currently hosted in the country.

Still in Davos, President Museveni addressed a roundtable meeting organized by the Africa strategy Group, themed on shaping Africa’s agenda in the global context.

At the meeting, Museveni said that “part of our lagging behind was the attitude governments had against the private sector” but added that this has changed.

“The people excited about artificial intelligence are those who already have developed infrastructure and a development human resource,” he noted.

According to Museveni, artificial intelligence alone without infrastructure development such as railway and electricity can not be useful.

Source Soft Power

EU approves assistance worth 305 million euros for Tunisia

By Tarek Amara

The European Union has approved a 305 million euro (267 million pounds) financial assistance package for Tunisia to help youth find jobs and boost local development, the bloc said on Wednesday.

The EU said in a statement the record financing deal reflected its strong ambition to create better chances for Tunisian youth. “The adopted programmes will facilitate access to the job market for young Tunisians, boost entrepreneurial innovation and ensure that local communities are not left behind,” Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said in the statement.

The North African country has made a transition to democracy since former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in 2011, the only “Arab Spring” country to avoid conflict as in Syria or further bouts of political turmoil like Egypt.

But an economic crisis has eroded living standards and unemployment is high as political turmoil and lack of reforms have deterred investment needed to create jobs. That has forced the government to launch austerity measures to please donors and lenders including the IMF.

Source Channel News Asia

Job Creation Is The Real Key To Helping Working Families

By Carrie Lukas

President Obama dreams of an American economy in which all workers have ample paid leave benefits, maximum flexibility, and, of course, receive more than a living wage. Yet in making his case for this vision, in this oped that appeared in the Huffington Post in conjunction with the White House “Summit on Working Families,” the President—perhaps unsurprisingly, given his Administration’s economic record—seems unfamiliar with the costs associated with greater benefits, the tradeoffs that workers and employers must consider when creating compensation packages, and the sad reality that the biggest problem facing many Americans today isn’t that their jobs pay too little or offer too few benefits, but that they cannot find enough work at all.

Indeed, lack of employment, not low wages, is the biggest factor creating poverty today. According to the U.S. Census, in 2012 (the most recent data available), just under one-in-ten working age adults living in poverty had full-time, year-round work, while two-thirds had no work at all. Proposals to raise the minimum wage or increase mandatory benefits will do nothing to help these Americans who lack employment, even worse would make it even less likely that they find work.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the President’s proposed minimum-wage hike to $10.10 per hour would result in 500,000 fewer jobs nationwide. The President should at least acknowledge that there are tradeoffs that come from increasing employment costs and the availability of positions, particularly for those with the fewest skills and experience. Already American teenagers who are seeking those vital first jobs, which provide value and experience far greater than just their paychecks, are suffering from unemployment rates well in to the double digits. That problem is particularly pronounced for minority youths: Nationwide, the unemployment rate in March 2014 for African-American teenagers was almost double the rate for whites, a jaw-dropping 38 percent. A higher-minimum wage will make this problem worse.

The President doesn’t just want to require companies to pay higher wages; he also wants more generous benefit packages. He laments that too many workers lack the ability to receive time off for a school play, can’t work from home when a child is sick, or take leave for a new baby or to care for a sick loved one. He writes, “the United States is the only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave.”

First, this is a gross mischaracterization of the American economy and work world. The United States lacks a law that requires employers to provide paid maternity leave, but that does not mean that paid maternity leave and other leave benefits are non-existent in America. In fact, most full-time workers have paid leave benefits and make use of those benefits following the birth of a child. The Census Bureau reports on the leave practices employed by working women after giving birth: 56 percent of full-time working women used paid leave following the birth, 42 percent used unpaid leave, 10 percent used disability leave, 19 percent quit their job, and nearly 5 percent reported being let go (this adds up to more than 100 percent because some women used more than one category of leave). Part-time workers were more likely to quit (37 percent reported quitting their jobs) and had less access to benefits: 20 percent used paid leave, 46 percent used unpaid leave, and just 2 percent had disability leave.

Certainly this data doesn’t live up to the vision of all workers enjoying generous leave packages, but it does indicate that most businesses recognize the need for time off and believe it makes good business sense to provide such benefits, even absent a legal requirement. The President himself provides examples of companies that are models of family-friendly workplaces, but he misses that this is evidence that the market can encourage advancement in that direction and that one-size-fits-all government programs may actually discourage such innovation and flexibility.

The President should keep in mind that not all workers have the same preferences for benefits over take-home pay, and different jobs lend themselves to different kinds of flexible work arrangements. Government mandates, however well intentioned, prevent employers and employees from finding mutually beneficial arrangements. And while the President suggests that women would be the greatest beneficiaries of more aggressive government mandates, women also end up paying a high price in terms of lost economic opportunity. Supporters of family leave mandates often point to Western Europe as a model, but American women are far more likely than their European peers to be breaking glass ceilings. Undoubtedly, one reason why is that European business leaders know that women in their childbearing years are likely to disappear for months, even years, at a time, and therefore don’t consider them for leadership positions. That’s hardly a culture encouraging women to “lean in.”

The best way to ensure that people have the benefits and resources they need is to create an environment in which there are plentiful jobs. That way employers must compete for workers, and workers can select compensation packages that make sense for them. Sadly, that’s not the situation that we have in America today, and the President’s prescription for more government mandates and higher employment costs would take us farther in the wrong direction.

Carrie Lukas is the managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum and author of a chapter on work-family policies for YG Network’s Room to Grow.

This article was first published at Forbes

Youth Voices Acting to End the Stigma of Homelessness and Menstruation in Africa

By Cleopatra Okumu

Imagine, on a day when you had your period, if you had to choose between buying food or pads. What would your priority be? This difficult decision is a reality for homeless women each and every month.

The routine tasks of managing personal hygiene and basic needs present them with a tough choice.

An organization based in Cape Town is tackling this dilemma by providing homeless and underprivileged girls and women with menstrual products. Since 2016, Girls with Wiings has been assisting 250 girls and women in 11 locations with sanitary products every month.

“Our most powerful tool when it comes to menstrual health management is action. It’s the power of getting involved, speaking up and taking action,” says Koinonia Baloyi, 28, founder of Girls With Wiings.

Using fitness as a platform to raise resources

True to her words, in 2017 she completed the London Marathon and raised R21,000 (about $1500) for her organization. She uses fitness and well-being as one of her platforms to mobilize funds to provide menstrual health products to girls and women.

“We are giving women a safer and more hygienic alternative to using cloth material and napkins, as well as restoring their dignity,” she says.

Ms. Baloyi initiated the Fitness for a Cause Campaign, which hosted a public outdoor fitness camp in in 2018. She was motivated to do so by commitments made at the first East and Southern African Regional Symposium on Menstrual Health Management, which was organized by UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office and the Department of Women in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2018.

The #Fit4Wings event, which was conducted by local celebrity fitness instructors, saw Girls With Wings raise R50,000 (about $3650). The money purchased 1000 bags containing reusable sanitary pads, soap, a face cloth and underwear.

“This campaign has contributed significantly towards the advocacy of menstrual health management,” says Ms. Baloyi. “We have seen an increase in both awareness and participation in menstrual heath issues by large corporates, as well as men, through active partnerships, sponsorships and participation in these events.”

Inspiring continuous action

With their aspirational name, Girls With Wiings is about inspiring continuous action and not allowing homeless and underprivileged girls, women and other people who menstruate to be alienated from society because of their inability to manage their menstrual health.

“Menstrual health management is something we need to keep talking about until it is a normal part of our everyday conversation, until it is something we don’t shy away from,” she says.

Ms. Baloyi is one of 400 practitioners who have joined the African Coalition for Menstrual Health, the aim of which is to strengthen the voices of its members. She believes her involvement will amplify the voices of practitioners and activists who have come together to address the menstrual health challenges of those who are so often left behind – including girls, women and other people who menstruate, the homeless, and those in prison or fleeing a humanitarian crisis.

Source UNFPA