Causes of unemployment in Tanzania: the case study of Dar es Salaam.

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University of Dar es Salaam
According to the 1976 United Nations estimate, twenty five poorest countries had an annual per capita income of less than US $ 100 and population growth rates approaching 3% a year. These countries have few resources to expand employment opportunities. Although the measurement of unemployment in developing economy is subjected to serious conceptual and data constraints, it seems that a person under 25 years of age has at least three times as many chances of being unemployed compared to other age groups in the labourforce. Like any other developing countries, the unemployment situation among the youths is more serious in Tanzania. The economic crisis coupled with a rapid population growth has worsened the unemployment situation in the country. This study has attempts to analyse the causes of youth unemployment in Tanzania. The study surveyed 300 households from three research districts drawn from Dar es Salaam city. A random sample was applied to select two wards from each district. The wards covered by the study in the three districts of Dar es Salaam were six in number. These were Charambe, Mtoni, Ilala, Buguruni, Manzese and Ubungo. A list of ten cell leaders was used to make a random selection of 50 household in each ward. The survey population demographically was of typical urban locality and mostly young population aged between 15-24 years. The 15-24 age group was subdivided into two groups, teenagers (15-19) years and the young adults (20-24) years. It was revealed from the findings that 39% of the respondents were in the 15-19 years age category while 61 % of the respondents were in the 20-24 years group. Moreover, 81% of the total respondents were single. This study shows that education and youth unemployment appeared to have a positive relationship. About 61 % of the respondents had primary education, 27% of the respondents had secondary education while only 7.3% had above secondary education. Lack of education was therefore mentioned as a major factor for youth unemployment. Sex discrimination was also observed to be a major constraint among the female youths. The findings revealed that female youths have comparatively less employment opportunities than male ones. Low wages and salaries were also among the reasons mentioned as causes of youth unemployment. The study however, estimated youth unemployment rate to be 57.3% in Dar es Salaam city. This rate is higher compared to other previous studies Kibendela, 1995 (19.2%), Labour Force Survey 1990/91 (10.6%) and population census 1988 (3%). The majority of youths, 49% were youths who preferred to be employed in the informal sector while 46.3% preferred to be employed in the formal sector and 4.7% of the youths were neutral. As alternative to unemployment situation, 46% of the respondents planned to borrow capital. 25% of the respondents planned to return to the villages while 21 % of them planned to learn apprenticeship. Only 8% of the respondents had no option. Basing on the findings and analysis, main recommendations include the improvement in the agricultural sector that was categorised as a primary alternative. Other recommended policies and strategies to alleviate youths unemployment include change in education policy, establishment of conducive environment particularly in commercial studies and the establishment of agrobased small scale industries. Additionally, the government should review some policies, such as the wage policy and those affecting female youths who are the most affected. Short and long run policies are highly recommended to alleviate youth unemployment problems. Co-operation between government and nongovernmental organisations should never be neglected.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HD5708.75.M8)
Unemployment, Youth unemployment, Tanzania
Mrisho, M. (1999). Causes of unemployment in Tanzania: the case study of Dar es Salaam. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.