Tuesday, January 19, 2010

50 Years of Independence: The Appraisal.

In 2010 many african nations will celebrate their 50th independence anniversary. That is considered as a Jubilee. After a half century of independence, poverty, development, Democracy and human rights are still major issues in most of African nations. Most of them remain the poorest nations in the world. After independences, to come from poverty and make development a reality many years have been spent applying economic policies (especially from Breton Woods Institutions), billions of dollars of aid have been spent and still poverty have not reduced significantly. What went wrong? And what can be done in order to reverse the situation?



Leadership is the key issue. There was a failure of leadership. After independences many African countries stepped into military regimes. These regimes were dictatorship regimes and led with one gaol: rule by oppression and not be accountable to the people. That was an irony. People fought for freedom from colonialism and they got it, they in turn were oppressed by their own Leaders. Most of the leader did not take decisive actions to lead their nations on the path of economic development and Democracy. They rather ruled for their own interest. Most of them are nowadays classified among the richest personalities in the world. They created what is called a one political party regime which ruled many Africans countries for over decades. Living their people in a terrific poverty, the stayed in power without sharing it for years.


For example in Togo, Gabon, and Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), each President ruled for more than 30 years. What can be done to reverse the situation? Africa is the richest continent in raw materials, but its people are the poorest in the world. That’s the African paradox. Many years of exploitation of these raw materials did not benefit the people. But leaders and their relatives benefited the most. To come from poverty, Africans need to be ruled by accountable leaders with a real vision for their nation: economic development through hard work. In Haute Volta (now Burkina Faso) T. SANKARA tried to improve the living conditions of his people through a vision: Bringing people together in a common vision, development through hard work and patriotism. But unfortunately his work ended by a coup d’├ętat. It become an African culture to end a regime by a coup d’├ętat. That also added to Africans trials. The need to promote democratic regimes is also part of solutions to Africans problem. Leaders should understand that there is no need to stay in power for many years with the risk to become a dictator. Unfortunately in this twentieth century, some leaders on the continent are still holding to their sit as if there are no viable people to replace them. What they bring to their people is only frustration and anger. That is actually happening in Niger, where the president would like to change a law in the constitution in order to remain in power.


Investing in people not military arsenals. Most of Africans regimes invest millions or billions of their currency in military weapon. But there more important areas where to invest. Education must be the government’s priority. When that area is neglected, it leads to a catastrophic situation in the future, as it is the only way to improve the country human resource ability. 2010 must be a year of assessment for all African nations. Africa must not remain the last continent in the development process because it is in fact a rich continent.

The youth and the employment situation in Togo.

Since 1993, when Togo got into the democracy process, the economic and the social
conditions were affected by the political crisis that emerged from the lack of democracy
and respect of human rights by the Togolese authorities. The young people
unemployment is one of the major problems that the country is facing. They seem left to
themselves. Most of them who are University graduates have to ride Taxi Motorcycles
Called “ZEMIDJAN” (in the local language) to survive. What are the causes of the
problem? And how can they be tackled? These are few questions we shall try to answer
in this small article.

The causes of young people unemployment in Togo.

Six major causes can be highlighted. These are:

1-Corruption
This a major cause that is blocking the government to create more jobs for the young people. The financial resources allocated to cope with unemployment are misused. They are used for personal expenses.

2-Lack of efficient employment policy.
Since Togo got into democracy process, the country got into a deep political crisis that is
seriously aggravating the social conditions of the young people. The governmental authorities seem to be weak in resolving the unemployment issue. The National Direction for Employment Policy is a service created by the government to handle the employment issue since the 80’s. But it seems that it does not function any more, as the government is no more allocating financial resources to the Direction for its running. In most of the public services there is a need of qualified personnel, as most the workers have retired. There is a need for the
government to organize recruitment tests for the young people who have completed their
education, and give them the opportunity to work in the public services.
The young people are the future of the country. If the government lacks to provide work
for them, then the country is surely going backward. The youth have their part to do in the
development of the country so they must be given the opportunity or they will be hopeless
and will try to go to other countries. That is how the country is loosing its labor force.


3-The European Union Commission suspended her cooperation with Togo.
Since 1993, the EU commission suspended her cooperation with Togo for lack of
Democracy and non respect of Human Rights. Togo got then into financial difficulties.
Development programs to help Togo cope with poverty were delayed. The situation of the
economy is aggravated by the suspension. The major economic sectors (Industries,
Companies, Financial Institutions, even the informal sector) are running slow. The
suspension is still on until Togolese authorities prove to be a true democratic system and
a State that respects Human Rights.

4-The education system does not take into account the reality on the employment market.
Since the independence, the education system remained the same. There is no change in
the habits. The education system does not enable the students to be functional when the
complete their education. They need to have a professional or a technical training. That is
extra financial costs for the companies, enterprises and industries. It is indeed for that
reason that they prefer to recruit those who have got already professional experiences.
There is a need for the government to review the education system to make it more
efficient so that it does not produce unemployed. In order to enable the youth participation
in the nation’s development there is a need to give them a practical education that takes
into account the country’s reality.


5-Lack of initiative from the young people.
There is one thing that one can be sure about is that the government has its limit in the
employment issues. It cannot provide work to all. That is why the private sector exists. It
is the result of initiatives. The young people should learn from their elders who have set up their own enterprises and are self-employed. They should not rely on the government to provide them with work or they will be deceived. They must start thinking about setting up a small business. May be some have the idea of starting a small business, but the financial means are lacking. This should not be an obstacle. They must keep on looking for investments from
particular or from the financial institutions. That is the only way they can make it.


6-Discrimination
In some public dept even in some private dept, the recruitment is based on the ethnic, the
family relations, friendship and sex background. On the sex background the female are
privileged.


Tackling unemployment in Togo.

A country without employment policy is surely going backward. A nation cannot develop
when his people are hopeless about employment issues. The government should be the
first to feel concerned about this frustrating situation. People are eager to work for not
only their benefit, but also for the benefit of the whole nation. It is time for the government
to take serious measures against corruption and discrimination the main obstacles for the
young people to get jobs. Some of the measures are the following:


• Promote good governance,
• Setting up efficient employment policies,
• Fighting corruption and discrimination by all means,
• Reviewing the educational system,
• Promoting initiatives by helping financially the youth in setting up small businesses.


These are few measures that can be fully developed for the purpose of alleviating unemployment.