IOM this week opened the first job center in Borama, Somaliland. The center, funded by the Netherlands through Oxfam Novib – the Dutch affiliate of Oxfam – will provide a place where unemployed youth from Borama can acquire marketable skills and career advice in order to improve their chances of finding lawful employment, without having to resort to dangerous irregular migration.
The job center will also provide young people with opportunities to interact with experts from the diaspora and gain entrepreneurial skills to start their own businesses. It will also organize outreach activities, including sports, debates, arts and cultural performances, career advice, and book reading clubs.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Regional Governor of Borama Mohamoud Ali Saleban said: “Youth unemployment is still a problem in Somaliland. Many youth opt for tariib (irregular migration) or criminal activities as a source of income. It is through job centers and other interactive forums that we hope our youth can gain skills and use them in rebuilding the country.”
He urged international organizations and NGOs to work with the Somaliland authorities to build their capacity and provide job opportunities to the young people, who are the future of Somaliland.
IOM has previously supported unemployed youth both in Somalia and Somaliland through provision of paid internships that saw over 245 young people employed in the government and private sector. The scheme was a success with a 72 percent retention rate.
IOM has also reported on youth unemployment in Puntland, Somaliland, Mogadishu, Kismayo and Baidoa, focusing on unemployment, irregular migration and skills gaps.