Government Regulations And Control Biggest Threat To Jobs In Africa Today

By  Olanrewaju Babatunde

Africa the mother of the other continents, so rich in culture, heritage and with a promising booming economy is yet to discover why countries of other continents invests largely with never ending promises on giving our youths a better Tomorrow.

Before colonization, governance by the colonial masters was fair enough for some selfish reasons or the other as young youths partook in the massive transformation of our dear Africa.

Aftermath of colonization and the interception of the African political process.

Few years after the ceremonial introduction of the military regime in NIGERIA, democratic regime in SOUTH AFRICA and dictatorship regime in LIBYA which has had more negative effects than positive on job creation in Africa today as more money, time and priceless resources have been wasted in the ever changing political process.

The effects of instability in the political processes of countries in Africa could be detrimental in the growth, development and Job creation for agile youths due to incessant change in government policies.

Nigeria as a case study.
During the military regime, more attention was focused on the Defence Sector of the country. Government understood the great Malthusian theory which centres on “Population determines under development” as they boasted of large population size to their benefits. In 1999, Nigeria begot the Democratic regime as more attention was focused on the Agricultural sector of the country. Other countries invested heavily as it paid off not until the timely discovery of crude oil in “OLOBIRI” by SHELL PETROLEUM COMPANY. There was a massive boost in the major source of countries economy as Nigeria moved from the Agricultural Sector to the Oil and Gas sector by over 70%. In recent reports leaked out by Local Newspapers, it was revealed that Nigeria is masturbating the thoughts of a total shift back to the Agricultural sector. What will Nigeria Future hold for young, agile and ever increasing demand of youths in this unpredictable government of ours? Or what will Nigeria offer a young Engineers when the change has come? The adverse effect of this change in Economy has caused Engineering graduate of tertiary institutions more preferred to Agricultural Student in Nigeria’s market today. How bold will Nigeria be then to answer this mind disturbing questions?

Sudden and frequent change of government have weakened the capacity to execute developmental plans. For instance, the civil war of 1966, which shook Nigeria hard, affected the implementation of first national development plan (1962-1968). In the same vein, the annulment of June 12 presidential election also affected national rolling plan of 1991-1993.

Worthy of note, the 2015 elections that made possible a change in government after 16 years have left scars of Fuel scarcity which resulted into threats of shutdown of established companies in the country. Poor supply of water and electricity all due to transition in government from Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to General muhammadu Buhari and has massively affected even the government ostracised-self employed businesses. All we could show for is an increase in Electricity tariff plan by the Minister of power, Babatunde Raji Fashola with high hopes in the Power sector from optimist as I am that things will get better for real.

One of the principal manifestations of and factors contributing to the low levels of living in developing and under-developing countries in African nations is their relatively inadequate or inefficient utilization of labour in comparison with the developed countries of the world. Under-utilization is manifested in two forms; first, it occurs as under-employment of those people who are working less than they could. The second form is open unemployment of those who are able and often eager to work but for whom no suitable jobs are available. There have been major spot light on these because of government incapability to control the economy through the use of regulations and policies that will favour the larger population.

The good and bad side of populous Africa
Africa is the second largest continent after Asia. Africa boasts of over 200 million people aged between 15 and 24 years. Africa has the youngest population in the world, what has the ever changing government policies have to show for it?

By 2040, our labour force will be by 1 billion citizens stronger, making it the largest in the world surpassing both China and India. {Source Mc kinsey global institute}. By statistics, the number of young people in Africa will double by 2045.

Large population size is not sufficient to guarantee productive employment as earlier predicted that “population determines under population”. However, High per capita income determines the strength of an economy.

Nigeria as a case study has a high population which is increasing in a geometric progression, the government has done little to curb it. The government is incapable of feeding the masses as poverty rate in Nigeria is alarming. China being the largest Economy in the world today having the largest population has done much in controlling their population size through the use of legalization of birth control. It is a decision that paid off globally.

Poor implementation of good government policies can leave youths frustrated as the “norms” of the RICH getting RICHER and the POOR getting POORER infested more.

Grievances among the young people are most likely to be expressed violently, which by the damages left as scars, cost the country. By research, one in every two young people who join a rebel movement cites unemployment as their driving force.

Political conflict has disrupted agriculture and aggravated poverty in countries such as Somalia and the Sudan

If Africa fails to create a sufficient economic and handsome employment opportunities to support decent living conditions, there could be risks and threat to social cohesion and political stability in recent years.

Liberia experienced two civil wars since 1989, driven by a combustible mix of ethnic divisions, predatory elites, corruption and competition for the profits of natural resources. Wars, conflict can create a refugee population, disrupt trade, provoke an arms race, provide a haven for rebels and itself become a theatre of a new war.

Lack of technical know-how.
Most of industries in Africa today are headed/managed either by the Europeans, Asians or the Americans. The common reasons given are that most times they have better technical know-how or mutual interactions with machine than we do, or that they are experts from developed countries coming to save the poor economy of our tagged “under developed countries” so called by their famous prints and media. The very few Africans leading the industries are either those that were opportune to study abroad, or the Sons and daughters of the High and mighty in government positions (Big fishes). Are these conditions favourable enough for young African graduate (fries) who are just introduced to the Labour market? Certainly not.

Poor management of finances.
Nigeria’s poor management of finance has been exemplified by the unstable exchange rate. The exchange rate which is prone to changing any day has had negative effects of Nigeria’s trade globally as it serves as a threat to Long time foreign investors that investment and storage of wealth is a deadly risk to take, as wealth cannot be valued overtime. According to reports from leading national dailies (punch), popular Business mogul Dr. Aliko Dangote in the middle of 2015 lost over $12.2billion of his wealth in the Exchange rate fluctuation. We are over dependent on importation of almost every human needs rather than focusing on geometric increase in our local productivity. By so doing there will be check-and-balance between Importation and exportation rate in the country. This might be the lasting solution in expanding our labour force overtime.

What we read in our national dallies are cases of corruption. They rape the opportunities of being good leaders and being a leader worthy of emulation. Who knows who will be the next gatekeeper in the national dallies by dawn?

Lack of decent favourable platforms and poor funding of the Educational sector.

The government has created little or no platform conducive enough to bring out the best in young graduating students abilities to a countries advantage.

DR Congo now boasts of a “Robotic traffic light” as it has brought spot light on the country’s Economy both locally and internationally. The robotic traffic light was as a result of some research work by some young engineers in the country.

Poor funding of the educational sector in countries like Nigeria has led to nationwide strike for about 6 months out of every 24 months as there were further claims there are possibilities of fiercer strike in the nearest future. The strike has left Nigeria salted-open wounds on the promising labour force of the country has students with little or no hope of resuming to school resulted into prostitution, crime and vices, even as far as getting unwanted pregnancy.

Way out: privatization of Economy

Economic growth requires intelligent policies based on a sound understanding on the issues faced by youths in finding and holding on to a decent employment opportunity.

Todaro (1977) contends that “Economic growth stimulates improvement in incomes and output while Economic development involves radical changes in Institutional, Social and administrative structure, as well as in popular attitudes and sometimes even customs and beliefs.

As a Nigerian, I believe Africa has a future. So we say No to poor implementation of good government policies, No to Xenophobia, No to crime and vices, and above all; Bring back our girls.


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