10 – Countering violent and uncivil behavior among the youth
According to the UNDP Human Development Report, about 67 percent of youth in Somalia are unemployed. About 70% of Somalia’s population consists of people under the age of 30, which means that a large number of the unemployed are youth. With a history of conflict spanning well over 20 years especially in South and Central Somalia, youth are increasingly faced with frustration and limited options for economic livelihood. Even in regions in the North West (Somaliland) and North East (Puntland) which have had relative stability in the last 20 years, the problem of youth unemployment still lingers.
The United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) highlights the key challenges to youth engagement in productive activities as (1) The protracted conflict, (2) collapse of institutions and (3) a lack of opportunities (UNSOM, 2014).
Given the role of Agriculture in Somalia’s culture and economy, and what impact the sector could have on creating opportunities for the youth and moving them from the crime and poverty trap, and bring sustained development in Somalia, CED has focused on programs that help youth to increase their productive engagement in the agricultural sector, by providing them with technical capacity and resources in form of inputs and farm tools to be able to produce more. Additionally, CED has been promoting value-addition by training 200 youths on agro-processing and agri-businesses that promise more incomes. CED has also supported inter-generational dialogue between the elders and the youth so that their concerns are addressed in these forums.
This is in recognition of the fact that development that excludes the largest and most energetic segment of the society is not sustainable as it is exclusive and triggers conflicts.