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Skyrocketing Unemployment Ails Sudan 

Skyrocketing Unemployment Ails Sudan 

Wednesday, 4 September, 2019 - 08:15
A Sudanese protester seen during a demonstration. AFP file photo

Sudan’s joblessness rate has risen from three million to eight million in the past seven years, according to a private sector draft initiative for economic reform.

An official report showed that 32.1 percent of the African state’s manpower, which stands around 25 million people, suffers unemployment.

The country’s overall population is at 41.7 million.

Fateh Al-Qurshi, rapporteur of the Sudanese private sector initiative for economic reform, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the data on unemployment in the report was the same as data released by the finance and economic planning ministry in 2017 and were jointly verified by public and private sector institutions.

Although the last reported unemployment rate amounted to 32.1 percent, it is predicted to see a 4 percent increase in the 2018 report, which is still being prepared.

Qurshi pointed out that 42 percent of the Sudanese people are young, and 85 percent of these young people are unemployed. Out of a total of 25 million manpower aged 18-55, only 17 million are employed in the country’s public and private sectors.

According to revised financial reports, Sudan has an annual population growth rate of 2.6 percent.

Looking to combat unemployment, Sudan’s private sector will mount a national training program that will run for three months and include 40,000 trainees. Funded and supervised entirely by the private sector, the program will include paid internships and work to match university programs with market needs, Qurshi noted.

Interns who finish training will get enrolled into four industrial projects planned by the Federation of Sudanese Industries.

A more recent report, drafted by the labor ministry, specified unemployment as one of the longest-standing obstacles inhibiting national growth despite multilateral efforts spent to combat the phenomenon.

Employment opportunities in the capital Khartoum and the rest of Sudan range from 25,000 to 50,000 a year, but some analysts see it as a small share disproportionate to the numbers of fresh graduates each year.

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