Good economic statistics meaningless to most Zambians – Saasa

Good economic statistics meaningless to most Zambians – Saasa

Oliver Saasa

Oliver Saasa

Prominent economist Oliver Saasa says the so called economic growth of about 5.5 percent in the last ten years has not resulted in an improved social welfare of the people in communities because of high unemployment levels amongst youths and women.

Professor Oliver Saasa, who is also Mulungushi University Chancellor, has noted that the country has in the last ten years posted about 5.5 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) which he said has not translated into real improvement in the social welfare of its people.

Prof. Saasa said statistics from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) show that about 83 percent of the country’s population was in employment but observed that 75 percent of this is found in the agricultural sector where the youths and the majority of poor people belong.

He explained that youth unemployment remains a major challenge in Zambia because of various factors that include lack of entrepreneurial skills, poor policy direction and lack of employment opportunities in the formal sector.

Prof. Saasa was speaking at the youth conference dubbed ‘shaping our Future, which was organized by the British Council in Lusaka yesterday.

He stated that over 70 percent of Zambia’s population comprises of the youths and 75 percent of them are unemployed and do not contribute to the growth of the country.

He stressed that 250,000 young people graduate from schools every year without skill to enable them be employed in the industries.

Prof. Saasa said this has further contributed to the high level of unemployment in the
country.

He observed that government should looks at the employment policy for young people and equip them with skill in order to deal with the high youth unemployment.

He has meanwhile bemoaned the unequal distribution of the country’s wealth stating that 10 percent of people control 80 percent of Zambia’s riches leaving the majority with fewer opportunities.

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