The Impact of Youth Unemployment on the Zambian Economy

Francis Mukosa, Moses Katebe, Kwesi Sakyi, Burton Mweemba, Serah Mbewe, Webster Sikazwe


This research looks at the issue of youth unemployment and how this affects the Zambian economy. The paper focuses on examining how the productive age in Zambia has been disadvantaged by the introduction of some regulations and policies. The paper brings into perspective the shrinking employment opportunities for the youth and how this effects productivity in key economic sectors such as mining, agriculture and the private sector. The findings indicate that the increase in the pensionable age disadvantages the youth and further increases the unemployment rate for the youth and women. The findings have also brought out the challenges that are faced by the unemployed youth and how they have been forced to engage in crime and political violence in order for them to make a living. The youth in Zambia represent 60% of the total employable age yet instead of being in well-paying and productive jobs; they are involved in crime, prostitution, drug abuse and alcohol abuse. The research outcomes also indicate that the definitions of a youth in the Zambian youth policy and the definitions of a youth by the United Nations are different and this may pose a challenge in terms of statistics and planning purposes. The paper takes a secondary research approach by reviewing research findings that have been drawn from analysing the different opinions, facts and findings from researchers on the topic of youth unemployment and government policies and laws on youth employment. Indicators from the findings are that youth unemployment is a global problem, which affects even rich countries such as the UK that has a huge GDP than that of Zambia. The conclusion in the paper is that there is a direct connection between youth unemployment and economic growth and that governments must ensure that they put youth employment at the centre of national economic planning.

Keywords: unemployment, youth, government, economy, policy, labour, productivity

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/11-6-09

Publication date:March 31st 2020

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