Somalia: All Talk No Action – Unemployment, Growing Marginalization and Khaire's Input

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Sunday August 13, 2017 - 00:50:13 in Latest News by SomaliUpdate Staff Reporter
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    Somalia: All Talk No Action – Unemployment, Growing Marginalization and Khaire's Input

    MOGADISHU (Somali Update Online) — While most of Somali youth are showing their frustrations toward the current cabinet's failure to address the reality of rampancy youth unemployment and the long marginalized groups rights, Somali Prime M

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PM Hassan Ali Khaire holds basketball as he attends International Youth Day event in Mogadishu on Saturday. | Courtesy photo.
MOGADISHU (Somali Update Online) — While most of Somali youth are showing their frustrations toward the current cabinet's failure to address the reality of rampancy youth unemployment and the long marginalized groups rights, Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and his cabinet members were not successful to address seriously on the dimming hopes of many young Somalis during the International Youth Day commemoration in Mogadishu on Saturday.
On Saturday hundreds of youths, many of them university graduates, gathered in Mogadishu for the International Youth Day under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. It’s there where the youth expectations dashed. The youth were hopefully looking to hear from the Prime Minister talking about what his government was doing to create opportunities for the local youths and help marginalized groups and more recently reject the renewed clannish agenda of members of his cabinet.
According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), having above 70% of the population being under the age of 35, unemployment rate for Somali youth aged 14 to 29 is 67 percent—one of the highest rates in the world; women lose out more, with unemployment rates at 74%, compared to men at 61%, and to the worse over 60% of youth have intentions to leave the country for better livelihood opportunities.
Since May this year, two months after the appointment of Prime Minister Khaire and his cabinet, nearly all appointed government positions were made through clan influence or in favour of specific senior officials. These include posts at the offices of the President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and ministerial department.
On Saturday’s event, some of the youth at the Halane Compound, were also disappointed to realize that one of Khaire’s ministries developed a discriminatory-like job application instruction for the Somalis seeking opportunities at the Ministry of Women and Human Rights after posting a new form that requires job applicants to declare their clans and sub-clans. The form intended for job seekers of the new Independent Human Rights Commission is available at the ministry’s website.
"As we marked the Youth Day, we hopefully wished he could say something good about job creation and to reject the notion of clan-based opportunity brought by these Diaspora people.” Sumaya Abdirahman, 26, a Mogadishu University graduate said.
The young woman, who said she was pulled several times inside government offices, admittedly described the current cabinet as "opportunistic and selfish tribalistic”.
"If you do not hail from the same clan of the minister or an MP [Member of Parliament] it’s hard to access any opportunity,” She says. "Or you can accept a forced relationship with senior official to get opportunity.”
Discouraging steps
Despite hardworking, locally educated and much enthusiasm, the local youth extremely feel being excluded from the system. A good example is the almost more than half of the newly appointed Mogadishu district commissioners having foreign passports while most of them lacked skills or knowledge required to fill the local positions they were given.
Members of the youth and officials sit inside Basket ball court as they attend International Youth Day event in Mogadishu on Saturday. | Courtesy photo.
Abdirahman Omar was cautious on Saturday when PM Khaire said that his government will create a thousand new opportunities for the youth.
"Is he referring the Diaspora members in his office, or he is going to award those from his clan.” The young engineer asked. "It seems this government contradicts itself.”
Last month, the United Nations Special Envoy for Somalia Micheal Keating warned that failure to address the marginalized young people in the country would make them more vulnerable to exploitation and radicalization.
With improved education, Keating said, relevant skills and competencies, and access to decent jobs, young people can help accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda, fostering a prosperous, sustainable and equitable environment for all.
"This mismatch not only impacts the economy, but also hampers the transition to a more equitable, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Somalia," the UN envoy said.
'Brain drain'
But the main concern raised repeatedly by the local youth is not the increasing number of young people in Somalia but the outward migration of its young graduates who saw themselves as ‘unwelcome’ in their motherland thanks to the discouraging local officials.
As Hamud Said Abdi, a professor of social science at University of Somalia mentions, educated youth can, and should, play a key role in all aspects of the nation’s social and economic development, so a 'brain drain' of these populations will inevitably affect the country's development.
"When you have a president, a prime minister and speaker of parliament of double citizens; when you prefer hiring diaspora members for local low positions rather than for locals, then you are not helping reduce the negative impact of irregular migration.” He said.
As the International Youth Day event continued to bring some new promises from Somali government officials, the youth would call all talks should turn into actions.

By Abdalle Ahmed
Somali Update Online


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