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Rising Youth Unemployment Is A Threat To State Existence

By Parek Maduot Bol


The increasing number of unemployed graduates is threatening the sustainability of the nation’s economic development and sending disturbing signals to the global environment.

For over a decade, South Sudan has been confronted with massive unemployment crisis. Hundreds of thousands of university graduates are roaming the streets without jobs. The rate of youth unemployment in the country is alarming particularly in the face of the current global jobs crisis.

The current youth unemployment rate is very high. The implication is that over 5000 of the youth population are unemployed- a situation that is threatening the very survival of South Sudan as a nation.

Although youth unemployment is not a recent phenomenon; given the fact that at the period of economic boom (2008), the country recorded high percentage level of unemployment among youth. Also, the level of youth unemployment rose up again in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.

However, the rising youth unemployment rate has become a major concern to all South Sudanese in view of the dangerous implications for the economy. The large number of applicants underscores the monumental crisis of youth unemployment in the country. The applicants are desperate youths hungry for jobs as many of them have been at home for two to three years without meaningful employment.

There are several unreported cases of exploitation of job seekers by various government and private employment agencies who take undue advantage of the unemployment situation in the country to rip these desperate applicants of some amount with a promise of securing jobs for them. These ugly developments, are as a product of an unmitigated failure of the successive governments to address the unemployment situation in the country.

The implications of youth unemployment are both social economic and political and as such ignoring the roles played by the youth in the society amounts to threatening the very survival of the country.

There is a growing global concern on youth unemployment as global economy is being threatened by the challenge of creating productive jobs in a bid to sustain economic growth and maintain social cohesion.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) in its employment report indicated that lack of structural transformation and high population growth has limited the opportunities for decent jobs in Africa. The report observed that after three years of continuous crisis conditions in the global labor markets and against the prospect of a further deterioration of economic activity, there is a backlog of global unemployment of 200 million people.

Young people continue to be among the hardest hit by the jobs crisis. Judging by the present course as the report maintained that there is little hope for a substantial improvement in their near-term employment prospects.

Many often wonder why the challenges of youth unemployment in the developing countries like South Sudan have become so persistent. The ILO employment report offers answer to this question and explained that preceding the global economic crisis, most developing countries saw solid growth rates and economic reforms that were successful in some areas.

According to the ILO, the growth did not translate into sufficient job creation, and the jobs that were created were often of low productivity, which did not provide a realistic option for the increasing share of well-educated young people in the labor force. 

Given this scenario, it is imperative for government to make youth employment its priority. There is a need for government to put in place a detailed portfolio of policy proposals and measures that have been tried and tested to tackle the growing number of young women and men without work. The sustainability of the nation will continue to be in jeopardy, if leaders do not invest and engage in deep rooted self productive ventures for the youth.


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