Announcement of a New Policy Brief “The Idle Youth Labor Force in Somalia: A blow to the Country’s GDP”


Dear Colleagues,

Mogadishu:Somalia-SIDRA Institute, in partnership with ADRA Somalia, released a new Policy Brief titled “The Idle Youth Labor Force in Somalia: A blow to the Country’s GDP”.
The Somali youth have been a shining star throughout Somalia’s history. They played a key rolein Somalia’s road to freedom struggle and independence during the 1950s and 1960s. The Somali Youth established the first political party on May 13, 1943, calling it Somali Youth Club (SYC), and on May 15, 1947 renamed it Somali Youth League (SYL) that fought for the independent of the country in 1960. The SYL are seen as true leaders that have saved the Somali nation from colonization. Their history is common with the youth of today who are always looking for heroes to emulate.

Somali youth were also the powerhouse and the leading force of the massive literacy campaign undertaken by the military regime on March 1974, after the Somali script was written and introduced as the official communication means in Somalia. The literacy campaign was geared toward the rural and Somali nomads, that made up about 80% of the population and later expanded to the illiterate adults in urban centers. It was reported that the literacy campaign was so successful and improved the literacy rate of the Somali people from 5% to over 40%.

However, history had not been kind to Somali youth after the collapse of Somalia’s central government in 1991, the Somali youth have become both the face of the country’s failures and its hope in resurrecting it. The opportunity to rescue, re-educate and reorient them to become agents of change is a paramount undertaking of critical importance that the Somali government, civil society and International community (ICs) must pursue collectively.

An idle youth with chronic unemployment is a ticking bomb and a danger to the nation as they are attracted to join dangerous groups to do harm, terrorist and violence acts. These dangerous groups exploit the youth to utilize them as means to kill, maim, rob and rape, and thus destroy the future of the next generation.

If given the right opportunity, Somali youth have the potential to reinvigorate and become the saving grace of the nation. Reeling from a battered self-defeat of war and its aftermath as a country embarking on restoring Somali youth to become productive citizens should be given a priority. There is the potential to inspire the Somali youth to pursue education, employment and creative means to contribute peace and security as well as the development of the country.

Key Policy Messages include:

The Somali population is young; it is estimated that 70% of the population is under 30 year. If the youth are not engaged in productive enterprises, it will have a contrary lasting impact on socio-economic developmental of the country for generations to come.
Crime affects Somali youth in an intrinsic level. It is easy for a young impressionable youth with bright future to get entrapped in criminal activities when they are not empowered and engaged, socially, academically and economically.
Youth play a vital role in the development of the country, and represent the future of the country, thus there are serious social and economic consequences associated with not addressing the youth who is at the risk of negative circumstances that is detrimental to their future and in return the future of the country.
Youth employment can help reduce the rate of poverty to a significant level. When the youth are equipped with essential skills, they can be productive member of society, and be part of the future investment of the country, aiding the nation economically. This will in-turn contributes to the increase employment and productivity of the country and add to the GDP of the nation.
Given their high innovative potential, when youth are meaningfully engaged, they are creative, innovative and challenge the status quo and are more likely to find solutions needed to tackle social, environmental and economic challenges.
To read the full Brief, click below link:


The Somali Institute for Development Research and Analysis (SIDRA)
Professor Jimale Street, 1st August
Garowe, Puntland, Somalia
Tell:: +252-5-846044

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