By Faith Mvududu.
Just a stroll down the streets of many Zimbabwean cities and towns will bring one to reality of the country’s comatose economic situation and the negative impact it has had on youths. Many Zimbabwean youths are having torrid moments trying to eke out a living through vending. Popular vendor activities include the pushing of airtime, fruits, phone handsets, money laundering, among others.
This is very unfortunate, particularly as it comes against the backdrop of massive investment in education, including university degrees. Industries are shutting down in droves, with many companies either pulling out, liquidating or retrenching due to an inability to meet the wage bill and salaries of employees.
High unemployment rate
Conservative estimates have put the country’s unemployment rate at 90%. Given the above economic scenario, therefore, many Zimbabwean youths have found it difficult to survive innocent of involvement in illicit deals such as drug peddling if they are to have food on the table.
Lack of job creation
The lack of job creation has been detrimental to both rural and urban youths. Those in rural areas, due to a lack of funding for their education, end up rearing cattle’s or sheep, something that does not inspire innovation and the requisite confidence in youngsters that could push Zimbabwe’s economy to the next level.
The economic tailspin has caused uncertainties in the country, and this has been worsened by that the country does not have legal currency that it calls its own. Consequently, this been the reason for the escalation of the illegal forex market, with exchange rates mostly being fixed in favour of dealers.
Current economic situation
The current economic situation represents a sharp reminder to many Zimbabweans of the 2008 economic meltdown that saw many people escape to neighbouring countries, with some even becoming economic refugees abroad. This also affected negatively Zimbabwe’s relations with other countries as many of the youths engaged in horrendous activities out there because of desperation, resulting at times in xenophobic demonstrations and an upsurge of violence against them.
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