From right to left, Didace Nzambimana, Tharcisse Habonimana and Marc Rwabahungu

BUJUMBURA June 25th (ABP) – The Association for Integral Development and Solidarity on the Hills (ADISCO) organized an exchange and sharing session on Thursday June 21, 2018, on access to youth employment, a check by ABP revealed.

The delegate of the Minister of Education, Technical and Vocational Training, Mr. Tharcisse Habonimana, said that this reflection is organized at a time when Burundi has a large number of young graduates living in jobseeker situation. Yet, he added, the country has significant resource potential that could provide job creation opportunities. He also stressed that to give a boost to this youth, the Ministry of Education has embarked on a reform encouraging the establishment of crafts training centers and vocational training centers.According to the Assistant Minister of the Civil Service, Labor and Employment, Didace Nzambimana, who opened the meeting, recent studies have just demonstrated, the question of unemployment is posed with gravity in many countries around the world, including Burund. If nothing is done, he added, unemployment among young people is likely to pose serious problems. Admittedly, he said, efforts have been made by the Government of Burundi to reduce the number of unemployed. However, he lamented, it is virtually difficult or impossible to find employment for all young people. Aware of this situation, the Burundian government has made the construction of vocational training centers among the main priorities, which can help the laureates to integrate well in the socio-professional sector. As part of putting the national development strategies in a long-term perspective, he said, the government has adopted the Burundi 2025 vision. Among the major challenges that this strategic planning proposes to address is to solve the crucial problem of unemployment and increase household incomes. It aims to provide multisectoral solutions to this situation in order to meet the challenge of job creation, he said.

The legal representative and chair of the ADISCO, Mr. Marc Rwabahungu, pointed out that like all the other countries of the world, Burundi is undergoing the employment crisis and in particular that of the young people. In April 2017, he explained, ADISCO commissioned a study on the state of play of access to employment for young people. He pointed out that the results of the study are alarming. Indeed, the proportion of young people (15-34 years) of working age is generally above 59%. The unemployment rate for young people aged 15 to 24 is 18.5% and for the age group of 25 to 34 it is 16.9%. For adults 35 years and more, it is only 9.1%. According to the study, for young people aged 15-34, the unemployment rate rises with the level of education. It affects more educated people at the secondary (6.9%) and higher (17.9%) levels. However, Mr. Rwabahungu said that in order to meet this challenge, actions have been taken. One of the solutions advocated by the government is the reform of education with the introduction of the basic school, crafts training and vocational training centers.

For the laureates of the end of basic school 2016 year, of the 118,621 candidates, 39,5% or 46,800 young people who did not have access to the post-basic level will have to join the crafts training centers, with the assurance that knowledge of crafts offers them more opportunities for self-employment. According to Rwabahungu, other actors have instead opted to support the socio-professional and economic integration of these young people. Even though the sample is very unrepresentative, a second study conducted by ADISCO in November 2017 shows that only 18% of the young laureates of basic school, Crafts Education Centers (CEM), Vocational Training Center (CFP) and Technical Secondary School were accompanied. This rate, he noted, is low in the face of such a fundamental question of access to employment for young Burundians.

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