Start-Ups and Youth Entrepreneurship as a Strategy for Reducing Youth Unemployment in Africa; Evidence from Gulu and Oyam Districts, Northern Uganda
This paper presents a trend in the challenges in the youth unemployment with particular emphasis on Uganda taking northern Uganda as a case. Youth unemployment remains a serious development challenge in most developing countries with sub-Saharan African countries being the most affected. Despite the positive economic growth rates experienced in Africa over the past decade this growth has not generated sufficient and decent employment opportunities for the youth (AfDB et al., 2012, UNECA, 2011). In Uganda 64 percent of the youth (18 -30 years) remained unemployed (UBoS 2014) yet three quarters of the population are below the age of 30 years. This implies that in the near future the proportion of the youth is bound to surpass the adults hence posing strain on the meager resources that is already eminent in the high unemployment rate. We used qualitative and quantitative methods in this study and sampled two districts (Gulu and Oyam). We assessed the effectiveness of the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) in addressing unemployment challenges and promoting job creation among the youth. The findings indicate that while the guidelines in the implementation of the programme were adhered to the budget for the start-up was largely inadequate and the delays in disbursement of the funds greatly affect the performance of the groups. Inadequate training before disbursement of the funds also affected the performance of the groups. Amidst the challenges noted, the paper concludes that to a greater extent the YLP is creating self-employment for youth and thus needs to be sustained.
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