For the youth of Tanzania, unemployment is not only more prevalent in urban areas but, somewhat paradoxically, presents a higher risk to those who are more educated. According to World Bank figures, young people aged 15-24 are six times more likely to be unemployed in Dar es Salaam than in rural areas. Meanwhile, nationally, 92% of primary educated youth are employed, compared to only 71% of those educated to secondary level.
As David highlighted during his interview: “Currently, the employment sector is faced with a high number of unemployed people – especially the youth – and even some of the few who are employed lack adequate and sufficient skills needed in their jobs. Others are employed in sectors not in line with their professions.”
This issue is further exacerbated by the fact that, whilst at school, students are given very limited career guidance; there is very little advice available from which they are to make informed decisions about their subjects and career paths. When asked, many students told us that they wanted to be a doctor, lawyer or pilot, but very few knew how they could tangibly achieve this, unaware of what experience and qualifications are needed. A study carried out by the University of Dar es Salaam in several public schools found that none of the students had received careers counselling, none had attended career exhibitions, and only 13% had benefited from careers speakers.
Tanzania ranks among the world’s 30 fastest growing economies and, with a 2.9 percent population growth rate, the country is expanding exponentially. Despite this rapid development one thing is clear: the problem of unemployment among urban-educated Tanzanian youth is an urgent one that will undermine such progress unless mitigated. CDI and Bridge for Change are working towards a future where students feel empowered to rely upon their own initiative and claim ownership of their career path, leaving school with employable skills and entrepreneurial creativity.
 Mabula, N. 2012, ‘Career Services Provision to Secondary School Students in Tanzania: Is it a dream or Reality?’, University of Dar es Salaam, http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v2i2.1674