Innovative Approaches to Creating Opportunities and Incorporating Youth into Labour Markets in the East African Community

Despite impressive growth rates in East Africa, the effects of growth on poverty reduction and employment creation have been limited, particularly for youth. Given widespread population growth in Africa and the inadequacy of the formal sector in generating employment opportunities for youth, there is a widespread fear that gains in poverty reduction achieved over the past three decades may be reversed by the phenomenon of jobless economic growth. The unemployment picture is aggravated by the large number of youth engaged in poor quality and low-paid jobs with intermittent and insecure work. If East African governments are to catch up with the pace at which new young entrants will come onto the job market in the next decade, there is an urgent need to identify innovative ways of generating youth employment.

Although a number of studies have been undertaken to understand the nature, causes, and impacts of youth unemployment, their linkages to policy have been relatively weak. This project aims to generate innovative approaches and coherent policy messages for generating youth employment and while reducing poverty in East Africa. It combines analysis of household datasets over time with qualitative views from stakeholders such as youth groups, government policymakers, and the donor community in four East African countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda).

From this evidence, researchers will determine the sources of growth and the employment opportunities generated by such growth, as well as the relationship between growth and youth unemployment. They will also examine the effectiveness of existing labour market policies, initiatives, and youth entrepreneurship programs at boosting quality youth employment. Drawing on these findings, the project will aim to inform better policy-making that produces more successful youth entrepreneurship programs.

Project ID

107156

Project status

Closed

Start Date

Thursday, January 10, 2013

End Date

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Duration

24 months

IDRC Officer

Okwi, Paul

Total funding

CA$ 726,024

Countries

Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, North of Sahara, South of Sahara

Program

Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Edward Bbaale

Institution

Centre for Basic Research

Institution Country

Uganda

Institution Website

http://www.cbr-ug.org

Project Leader

Rosemary Atieno

Institution

University of Nairobi

Institution Country

Kenya

Institution Website

http://www.uonbi.ac.ke

Project Leader

Dickson Malunda

Institution

Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR-Rwanda)

Institution Country

Rwanda

Institution Website

http://www.ipar-rwanda.org

Project Leader

Georgina Peter Ole Saibul

Institution

The Registered Trustees of Economic and Social Research Foundation

Institution Country

Tanzania

Institution Website

http://www.esrf.or.tz