Centre for Development of the People (Cedep) executive director Gift Trapence has called for a holistic approach to curb high levels of unemployment in the country which he said was leading cause to an influx of Malawians leaving the country in search of greener pastures.
According to Trapence, many Malawians, especially the youth, are migrating to countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to look for employment as they cannot sustain themselves here at home due to various economic hardships.
Trapence said this in reaction to a report that Mwanza border post has registered 886 deportees since January this year.
According to Mwanza border spokesperson, Pasqually Zulu, some of the deportees had spent up to six months in jail after being arrested for violating various immigration offences including travelling without proper documentation and overstaying.
Trapence said the country has a lot of graduates who are just sitting idle because they cannot get employment.
Said Trapence: “We need a multi-sectoral approach to addressing unemployment as a country. We need to look at all possible ways and create a permanent national programme that will see to it that our industry is able to give jobs to our youth.
“Our industrial sector is very small and it is failing to meet demands for employment. I have not seen a lot of commitment from our politicians in addressing these challenges. The loan schemes they are advancing such as Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (Medf) are short-lived.”
In its Global Employment Trends for youth 2015, The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently indicated that job creation for the world’s youth remains an uphill struggle as two out of five economically active youth in most countries including Malawi are unemployed.
The National Statistical Office (NSO) conducted its first ever labour force survey in 2014 and reported that formal unemployment rate in Malawi was at 21 percent.
President Peter Mutharika recently attributed high levels of unemployment in this country to inadequate direct foreign investment. He described the private sector as the engine for growth and development as well as a source of direct revenue and employment.
He promised that his government was putting up measures to ensure that more foreign investors come to Malawi.
According to NSO, the youth constitute 70 percent of the country’s population.