Friday, May 10, 2013

Youth unemployment; don't wait for solution be the solution

By Mumba Soko
May I add my voice on the issue of youth unemployment which is a worldwide problem resulting from some structural weaknesses in the capitalist's monetary and fiscal policies being implemented in line with the tenets of a liberalised economy, coupled with corruption.I must be quick to point out here that one of the policies that have led to this is the focus to make short term maximum profits by investors who quickly cut down the costs of production and heavily invest in hi-tech machinery to enhance profitability.In my opinion, the levels of unemployment soured further when developing countries implemented structural adjustment programs (SAP) in a bid to have loan debts cancelled by donors, International Monetarily Fund (IMF) and World Bank.In Zambia, this was coupled with pravitisation of parastatals by the Dr Chiluba government and this had a direct impact on the micro-economic activities at household level in terms of life expectancy, health among others.
This was due to a loss of ownership by the locals of institutions which had a positive macro-economic impact on Zambia like mining, agriculture, banking, electricity and transport.Suffice to say, this was the beginning of high levels of unemployment, poverty and corruption in Zambia and as at the year, 2000 the industrialised towns like Ndola, Kabwe, Kitwe, Lusaka and luanshya had virtually become ghost towns in the name of meeting HIPC conditions (Highly Indebted Poor Countries) set by creditors.But the questions now are; can a creditor prescribe you with ways and means on how to make money and leave you alone, when their riches lies in you?
Can they equip you with modern technology and, does Zambia have practical economists who are not brain washed with capitalist macro-economic policies to turn around our economy and balance the unemployment levels today, especially that the country is not grappling with huge external debts?
My answer to this is first to quote what Robert F Kennedy Jr said "the USA is now a land of socialism for the rich and brutal capitalism for the poor".
My understanding of Robert's sentiments is that, democracy is a business plan for the wealthy to sacrifice the poor to harsh economic conditions in the name of government has no
business in business but in policy formulation and implementation.
Take for instance, the American credit crunch and the Euro Zone crises, the governments there intervened with bailouts, is this capitalist or socialist action?
When ANGLO & BINNAN pulled out from mines in Chingola and Luanshya respectively, the government ran the mines, was that captalism or socialism?
If our economists are to create sustainable employment, the first step should be to create Zambian macro-economic policies which are locally driven and aimed at reducing costs of production especially those to do with electricity and fuel.
There must be further reductions in interest rates to trigger cheaper internal capital borrowing by local investors to create private local wealth.
And there must be tax holidays offered to those local investors who wish to invest in capital projects like water, electricity generation and manufacturing and of course, helped by government.
This can be attained provided we accept and admit that we are the solution to youth unemployment and stop waiting for solution fro m the west.

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