Youth, Employment and Migration in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Baidoa

Executive Summary

This study delves into the complex interplay between youth, employment, and migration in Somalia, examining three core inquiries:

  1. Composition of the Youth Workforce

Unpacking the demographic makeup of Somalia’s youth workforce and gauging their satisfaction with current circumstances.

  1. Root Causes of Economic Discontent

Exploring the underlying factors driving economic dissatisfaction among youth, distinguishing between structural barriers and market frictions, and evaluating the potential for youth-driven entrepreneurship to alleviate employment challenges.

  1. Impact on Irregular Migration

Assessing the extent to which occupational dissatisfaction, income disparities, and job market hurdles contribute to irregular migration patterns among youth.

The Youth Labor Landscape

A significant portion of surveyed youth identify as employed, yet many grapple with underemployment, especially those lacking formal education. Conversely, a notable percentage of youth report unemployment, with variations across regions. Dissatisfaction with education levels and employment prospects is prevalent, driving aspirations for further education or specialized occupations.

Navigating Employment Opportunities

While the Somali economy has witnessed positive growth, immediate employment opportunities remain limited. Interviews reveal a growing demand for educated individuals, posing challenges for uneducated youth. Small businesses, reliant on informal networks, often exhibit clan-based hiring biases. Women face additional barriers, and youth express keen interest in entrepreneurship, constrained primarily by financial hurdles.

Drivers of Migration

Youth are well-acquainted with irregular migration, primarily motivated by economic prospects abroad. Insecurity also influences migration aspirations, with safety concerns often serving as a catalyst. The high costs and perceived risks associated with irregular migration act as significant deterrents, with financial stability enhancing migration considerations.

These insights underscore the intricate dynamics shaping youth employment and migration in Somalia, emphasizing the need to address structural impediments and foster economic opportunities to mitigate irregular migration trends.

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