Zim’s Youth Unemployment Highest in Southern Africa

Vitoria said this is due to various issues including poor macro-economic policies, expensive education as well as low training.

“Zimbabwe has the highest rate of unemployment in the Southern African region due to its economic decline over the last decade, with corresponding negative effects on the health, well being and skill development of youth in Zimbabwe,” she said in Harare.

“There is limited up-to-date information about youth unemployment and the policies and strategies that were designed to address unemployment in the past are now out-dated. Zimbabwe has changed a great deal since many of these were devised and new approaches are needed.”

Vitoria conducted a survey on this topic and interviewed youths and adults countrywide.

“The methodology for this assignment involved gathering relevant secondary data and conducting a literature review of youth unemployment in Zimbabwe,” she said.

“I also designed and piloted questionnaires, training enumerators, and determining sampling, conducting interviews with 100 youth, 24 focus group discussions, 20 key informants, compiling and analysing data using SPSS, and identification of key findings.”

She said unemployed youth reported that they struggle on many fronts as a result from joblessness, including an overall low standard of living (22 percent), social exclusion and stigmatisation (15 percent), poor health (12 percent), inability to pay for education (nine percent), and pressure from family (six percent).

“Fifty five percent of youth reported that their communities looked down upon unemployed young people or treated them with suspicion,” she said.

“Only 21 percent reported that their communities saw unemployed youth as normal or understood,” Vitoria said.

She Zimbabwe’s steep economic decline had also caused the rate on youth unemployment to soar.

“This is not conducive for investment,” she said.

“Instability is compounded by macro-economic policies which have not been conducive to either local or foreign investment.”

She said as a consequence, the economy shrank rapidly and with it numbers of jobs. Young women were most affected by this scenario, Vitoria said in her report.

“Although young women were often found to have higher qualifications, they are less likely to be employed,” Vitoria said.