Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Thomas Rogers Muyunga Mukasa on College graduates and their 'Informal Sector' Employment

Thanks +The Boston Globe of Sunday January 6th 2013. As a man recently from Africa, I have met graduates on the Streets of Lagos, Cape Town, Kampala, Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam, Addis-Ababa and Brazaville. I have also met non-graduates in various categories. These were functionally engaged in businesses termed as 'informal-sector'. They were the City backbone and had the best places for cheaper food, transport and businesses spaces. Many employed graduates. That is in Africa.

Education provides skills and gives many opportunities to get into the formal sector. Here they enjoy job security, salaries, trappings and means to improve on themselves further. They pursue their goals with confidence and command respect in society. Education gives one the possibility to earn sums of money commensurate to their levels of learning and skills.

The labour market: What is that? Careers? Buildings with offices? Larger storeyed buildings with big notices calling on applicants to fill in short and long term job contracts?In Africa we meet graduates taking up jobs in; artisanry, masonry, construction, manufacturing, sales, indigenous herb pharmaceuticals, transport, running video-music kiosks, second-hand trade, teaching, music, dance and drama, modelling and staying at their parents' homes. In USA, we see many graduates taking up jobs as; waiters, waitresses, sales-persons, manufacturing, construction, internet-based bussinesses,car detailing and call center operatives.

A quick look into who constitute this change and what degrees they carry reveals that more liberal Arts graduates.

In Africa and other parts of the world, some advice is called for:
1. Governments have long promised loans to students but the loans are long coming.
2. Students should use their time at Universities to 'sandwich' into shorter certificate courses which teach targeted skills.
3. Cooperatives and Communities where members come together to engage in say, agricultural production should be promoted.
4. The idea of training young peope ( whether graduates or not) in job-related skills and Technical skills should also be a priority and an addition to Liberal Arts Degrees.
5. The Rural-City migration is follwing a pattern of social amenities which are better. Governments should make rural cmmunities equally amenable. Jobs will follow this.

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