Giving a Fair Share of the Pie to the Young Towards Sustainable Youth Inclusion in Zimbabwe

The status of the youth in terms of access to and control of economic resources in the country makes for sad reading. Despite being the largest demographic in the country making up 67.7% of 1 the population , the indicators of youth economic inclusion are largely disheartening. Youth economic inclusion refers to the availability and equality of opportunities to participate in the economic life of communities as employers, employees, consumers and citizens. It refers to fair access to labour markets, finance and entrepreneurship. It is an intrinsic element of a sustainable market economy. According to a survey by the Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT) only seven percent of youth respondents were formally employed. Wider sector analysis shows that youth economic inclusion in Zimbabwe is negligible. The proportion of youths running businesses increased by age from 2 percent among youths aged 15-19 years, 8 percent among those aged 20-24 years, 13 percent among those aged 25-29 years, 16 percent among 30–34-year olds and 18 percent among those aged 35 years. Sixteen percent of urban youths reported running a business, compared to 5 percent of the rural youths.

The continued presence of weak youth economic inclusion has the potential to create negative socio-economic indicators. If the major demographic group of a country continues to be unemployed and does not have access to gainful employment, this can automatically lead to a domino effect of negative socio-economic results. With a critical mass of unemployed youth, macro tax revenues will drop bearing a negative effect on economic investment and social safety nets. As a result, critical macroeconomic indicators like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will drop significantly for consistent periods and income equality indicators will become more skewed.

Read the full report here (133KB PDF)

Source: Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD)

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