Samsung identifies lack of relevant skills as major cause of unemployment in Africa
Samsung Electronics, an international electronics company, on Monday identified lack of relevant skills and non-availability of jobs for its teeming population as factors contributing to Africa’s unemployment.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Pitso Kekana, Head, Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship for Samsung Africa, and made available to newsmen in Lagos.
“With a high unemployment rate, Africa is sitting on a largely untapped pool of resources that has the potential to drive economic growth.
“The problem lies in both the lack of relevant skills and the availability of existing jobs for an ever-growing working-age population,’’ the statement said.
The statement noted that the solution to the scourge of unemployment in Africa lied in finding ways of up skilling what is largely the previously disadvantaged portion of the population.
According to it, this will empower them to find employment.
Citing a World Bank report, it said that in the last 20 years, the working-age population in South Africa grew by 11 million, making up 65 per cent of the country’s total population.
It, however, said that since 2000 the total number of jobs created had fallen short of the growing labour supply, with only 2.8 million new jobs created.
“This is why it is so important to empower the population with the skills needed to create new avenues of employment through entrepreneurship.
“If some 5.8 million jobs are created over the next 15 years to absorb the new working-age entrants, and if workers’ productivity improves through better skills development, real GDP in South Africa could reach 5.4 per cent per year.
This would mean the doubling of per capita income by 2030 and a lowering of the unemployment rate,’’ the statement said.
The statement advised governments in Africa to ensure that there was a growing ICT sector to stimulate growth in job-rich sectors like manufacturing and services.
It also encouraged the public sector to take the lead by creating a favourable regulatory environment for investment in ICT and new technology.
The statement also tasked companies in the private sector to leverage ICT to provide career guidance and skills development.
“By using their areas of expertise, these companies can also help ensure that up skilling meets real market demands.
“That the working-age population is making the right decisions about which skills to pursue in order to find employment.
“That they equally have the soft skills required to land and hold down a job or run a business; and that this population is given the tools they need to create their own work as entrepreneurs,’’ the statement added.
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