Last week, IOM Somalia launched its study on the relationship between youth, employment and migration in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Baidoa.
The report analysed three questions: 1. What is the youth workforce in those areas and are the young people happy with their situation? 2. How can we explain the economic situation of dissatisfied youth? Can youth create their own job opportunities through entrepreneurship? 3. Does dissatisfaction with employment and level of income alone explain irregular migration among young people?
The relationship between youth, employment and migration is not straightforward, and youth’s decision to migrate irregularly needs to be understood as a multi-dimensional process that depends on other factors, such as the perception of life in the West, security conditions, the dangers and costs of irregular migration, and trust in a better future in Somalia.
Interviews with over 1,200 youth have shown that young people in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Baidoa were generally not satisfied with their current situation, their level of education, occupation or level of revenue. Nearly 15 per cent of the respondents were without a job and the employed youth often suffered from underemployment. Many of the interviewees wished to work in the aid sector and, on average, they aimed to earn a salary nearly three times as high as what they currently make.
The economies in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Baidoa have demonstrated positive development, with the dynamic of reconstruction, investments of the Somali diaspora and foreigners (although limited), the rise of public services, and a shift toward development projects for some donors and UN agencies. Labour demand remains, however, insufficient to meet the youth job needs and recruitment processes sometimes create frustrations for being clan-based or politicized.