Ripple Effect

Young people in East Africa need job skills - or we will lose a generation

The gaps in education

My top 3 fixes for youth unemployment in East Africa:

1. First and foremost: provide quality education.

The emphasis should be on skills development to build employability. And that includes good communication skills, developing creativity and critical thinking, confidence in problem-solving, and lots of experience in working cooperatively.

2. Promote industry

We don’t need to be the new bio-tech centre of the world: we should capitalise on what already exists. We should develop our agroprocessing sector, using crops regularly grown to create products that are in demand in our region; for example, flour and other products from maize, and fibres for textiles.

Responsible economic planning can develop industries which will serve us in the future: developing wireless communication networks, solar energy, sustainable agro-processing and horticulture, eco-tourism. The ICT industry has the potential to solve immediate problems and create relevant jobs for young people in East Africa.

3. Develop our young entrepreneurs

Our young people are ambitious, and globally connected. They have dreams and ideas for creating their own businesses, and we need an environment that enables this to happen.

We need to provide opportunities for business coaching and mentorship as well as financial and business education. This can start with learning things as basic as how to register a business. Simple skills and exposure to different opportunities can open the door to ambition and encourage young entrepreneurs to develop and thrive.

Young people in East Africa attending tailoring and garment cutting session
Apprentices from Ripple Effect’s Living with Wildlife Project in Uganda attend a garment-cutting and tailoring workshop.

How Ripple Effect is working on youth unemployment

At Ripple Effect we believe in a future where everyone can thrive

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