Youth unemployment has become an epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa and Tanzania is no exception. In 2015, Tanzanian’s unemployment rate for youths – ages 15-34 – was at 13.6 percent. This number may be much higher as rural areas are difficult to acquire data and many youths work unofficial jobs to keep food on the table. The high rate of youth unemployment stems much from a massive urban migration from rural areas. Without a proper means of gainful employment, many youth turn to crime or extremist groups to make ends. Others turn to the unofficial side with almost zero chance of long-term growth or steady employment.
This is where ACAI comes in. Given the organization’s expertise in such matters – we decided to tackle youth unemployment head on, in areas where it would make the most impact. This is why we began ACAI’s Youth Entrepreneurial Network. This group will meet once per month to complete training, find direction on becoming a successful entrepreneur and to network and collaborate on projects with other youths. The first meeting had over 30 males and females engaged in carving out their roll is an entrepreneur.
Once successful projects and collaborations have been established, ACAI will work closely with donors and funders to provide capital to launch the idea. By reducing disenfranchised and unemployed youth, ACAI will help create a more productive generation and turn more youths towards gainful employment instead of crime and extremism.