We are doing “Youth Development” wrong: The culture of focusing on the symptoms.

If you travel across Somalia, you will realise that the most common approach of youth development or fighting against unemployment used by many NGOs or development agencies are: skills development, vocational training, awareness-raising or civic engagement etc.

These ALONE—even if properly delivered—wouldn’t solve the many problems faced by young people across the country. This, because we have allowed the symptom— unemployment or tahriib to be mistaken for the underlying systemic problems: injustice, corruption, exclusion etc. Symptom management will not tackle the source of the problems.

Building stronger institutions that are capable of executing its mandates would help us come over the many problems faced by this great nation. And this should be done by none other than Somalis.

by AbdiWahab M. Ali