Youth bulge threatening

A very sad story about how a young university graduate ended his life due to the pressures associated with being unemployed has been trending on social media. It is a wakeup call for politicians to start thinking seriously about how to diffuse the ticking time-bomb of youth unemployment.

Closely related to the phenomenon is the rate of violent crime that has engulfed the country with very frightening consequences. The sight of armed robbers gunned down last week shows the desperation of some of these youth who will employ any method to make ends meet.

Even though the Police Service has stepped up its surveillance and is working around the clock to stem the tide of armed robberies in the country, many seem to view it as a ‘do or die’ affair – and that is quite unfortunate.

How are we going to provide gainful jobs for the teeming unemployed? Graduate unemployment is adding to the plight, and it becomes unbearable for many – after securing degrees from tertiary institutions and not being able to secure a job to fend for oneself can be very demeaning.

It is little wonder that during electioneering periods these youths are ready to move heaven and earth to ensure their candidates are elected, so that the promise of job-creation is fulfilled. It also underscores why youths would join vigilante groups like Delta Force and Invincible Forces just to ensure that they are fed.

A new dispensation has arrived, with a growing youth population that harbours ambition like any other ordinary individual; and when the going gets tough, they get tough with it – and then lamentations begin to set in when law and order is negated by brute force and beastliness.

Unfortunately, time is not their best friend and they get more impatient as time goes along. Let us therefore read these signs seriously and plan accordingly, so that we can create the congenial atmosphere they so desire in order for them to fend for themselves and their families.

The youth bulge is real, and it is high time we gave it the attention it deserves. These days, securing a university degree no longer guarantees one an automatic job. Competition is stiff and job opportunities are limited in a small economy like ours.

The spate of illegal mining activities which destroy the environment and water-bodies is another outcome. We need to deal with the situation.