(ERGO) – Abdullahi Mohamed Dhaqane, 32, graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from a university in Bangladesh. He came back to Somalia 10 months ago, hoping he would quickly find work.
But Abdullahi is still jobless.
“I had high hopes of finding a job, of building a bright future for myself and my country, but there is a challenge,” he said. “Degrees have little value here.”
Unemployment among educated youth in Somalia is on the rise as local universities keep churning out more graduates, whilst others return home with degrees from abroad. All of them are hoping to land a job with the government or in major companies.
According to some experts, young people need market-driven technical skills for employment, self-employment, or enterprise creation.
Dr Sa’ad Farah, who advocates for youth employment, told Radio Ergo that the youth are graduating with theoretical knowledge but very few have practical skills to offer.
“The youth are focused on working for others, instead of using their heads to be self-employed,” said Dr Sa’ad.
Experts like Dr Sa’ad emphasise education and training in farming, fishing, and other productive sectors in the country as the answer to employment, rather than jobs in offices and administration.
Somalia’s federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Siddiq Warfa, believes that lack of practical skills is a major reason for youth unemployment in the country.
“Someone without skills cannot progress,” he said.
The minister said the government plans to establish technical schools in various parts of the country, including Hargeisa, Garowe, Mogadishu, Wa’iye, Kismayo, Jowhar, and Baidoa, in order to create jobs for young people.
“We have budgeted for the establishment of these technical schools and we have prepared market-driven technical curriculums,” he told Radio Ergo.
The estimated $12 million budget would be provided by the German development agency, GIZ, he said.