unemployment

Le JobTalk : Solving Cameroon’s Employment Gap

There’s a job event taking place in Douala in four days. It’s open to all. You just need to download your free ticket.

It is organized by the human resource startup- Agence ARCH led by Marco Mbilla. The first edition proved to be timely.

I will not attend. Not because I don’t think it is relevant( why would I be writing about it if it wasn’t??) But, because I will not be able to get to Douala by the 30th of April.

Le Job Talk  aims at engaging job seekers and employers in conversations that could lead to mutual gain.

Job-Talk-2-1

Human Resource Management staff, degree holders, job seekers and other consultants around the questions: how to get a job, what job givers seek and how to position yourself in the job market.

Just like I  don’t think  everyone seeks to get a job,  I don’t think everyone should be an entrepreneur or build a business.  Here’s a Quora thread on “Why doesn’t everyone become an Entrepreneur?”.

A leader is only one because there are followers. Take away the followers and she’s nothing. Nada. Niet. We need people to build businesses. And we need people to work in those businesses.

The first time I met Marco ( together we some other dudes and a dudette) we were trying to organize an award ceremony (whatever happened  to that bro?).

The second time, it was at ACTIVspaces in Douala. Where we met again for the 3rd time during  the first edition of Elodie’s #CamerSMMeetup ( Oh, there’s another on the 14th of May, get your free tickets!)

If you’re in the city on the 30th, don’t miss it. Thank me later.  And oh, don’t forget to be careful with the taxi cab drivers.

 

P.S: While writing this brief update, I wanted to make the case for Unemployment in Cameroon. I needed numbers. Turns out, the first Google hit is the very non-Cameroonian site. Then,  I read this on it: 

“Unemployment Rate in Cameroon is reported by the Institut National de la Statistique du Cameroun”- http://www.tradingeconomics.com

Obviously, you know what I did.  Here’s the site. I did a search and the only result was this.  Guess what? The research dates as far back as 2010. I didn’t even bother to download the pdf document (which is in FRENCH ONLY!!). Please, if you do, let me know what it says.

I can read french. I just don’t find it fun to read data that doesn’t matter.

I hope it is my ignorance of data that begs this question: is there any Cameroonian institution that does reasearch on this very important data? Or should I wait for Davos to get info on my country? Please, someone put some data in the comments. 

I hope I am wrong. I want to be wrong. I want to believe that I am just too lazy and ignorant that I don’t know where to find data on my country anywhere on the internet.  That would be way better than the feeling in my stomach right.

P.P.S: I don’t event want to get started on the design of the website. Ugh.

Thank you for reading oh! Are you on Snapchat? Add me! —–>@tchassakamga
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Reality 101: My suggestion to all Cameroonian Institutions

(c) flicker user: ajc1

(c) flicker user: ajc1

In my department ( Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Buea),  doing the news for at least a week is a compulsory part of our training. Either as reporters or producers. During this ‘newsweek‘ we cover events on campus, in the region, the nation and in the world. The News goes on air from Monday to Friday at 6pm. Every Saturday, there is a News Magazine– a compilation of all the major news stories during the week. Additionally, the News Magazine carries a Press Review and an Editorial, written and read by the producer for that newsweek. During mine, I was the producer. It took place in the week that followed the 11th of February dubbed  the ‘Youth Day’.  My editorial focused on the speech our president  gave this year and my suggestion on what we should be taught in ‘institutions of higher learning’. Who am I to suggest? What qualification do I have?

Honestly, I am not qualified. But I can’t sit and watch either. 

 

On the 11 of February every year, the president of the nation addresses the youth…

In this year’s address, what struck a cord of agreement with many, was the degree of unemployment in our country. Especially given the strides taken by the government in the form of actions through the National Employment Fund.
My interest, however, was piqued when the president acknowledged the need from radical reform in our educational system. He and I agree when he says: ” There is the need for professional education”.
Now, for four days last week, a symposium themed: “Perspective of inclusive education in West and Central Africa with multidisciplinary focus”, took place in the Dorothy Limunga Njeuma Amphitheatre of the University of Buea. This week’s news crew followed the event all through. I was particularly interested again when one of the participants expressed his lack of faith in the symposium because of the lack of key actors in the education sector at that gathering.
My worries the following:
1. Why can “professionals” afford to be absent from “professional” trainings like the said symposium?
2.Who will employ the youth and
3. When will we have the educational overhaul we so badly need?
Today is exactly 2 months since the president made his speech. And, in approximately 9 months a horde of 3000 plus job seekers will be pumped into the unemployment garden fondly termed “Chomencam” (Chomage( Unemployment) du Cameroun).

3000 JOB SEEKERS

I stress on job seekers because that is what I feel the University milieu provides as training to the the Cameroonian minds.
Rich in theory, inadequate in character and practice, and worse, White collar job addicts.
How can an educational reform take place when departments offering “professional” training  are understaffed? When admission requirements are malleable and teaching is more or less cosmetic?
How can we be trained as proessionals when the tools we need to master our trade are depreciated, undermaintained , and the lecturers are either under-used for their true potential   or overwhelmed by work?
How can WE be ready for a job market when the handwriting on the wall is clear but ‘everyone’ seems to either myopic or, like me, astigmatic:
THERE IS NO JOB MARKET.
( Note: I sought data to prove this . All I found was outdated databases. If you have sources , I would be very grateful).
The only way I see unemployment reducing is the day High School students realise the University is NOT supposed to train you to seek jobs but to make them. However, when I go through my rich educational curricullum and course outlines, I don’t find any course titled REALITY 101.

The Course  and course of the Future

All students, lecturers and professors need this course. Here is my suggestion for the content of this ‘Inclusive and Exclusive’ University Requirement. In fact eh, high school students should be allowed to attend as well.
Course Code: Reality 101
Course Title: Dear Youth, Don’t Seek Jobs. Create Jobs
Lesson 1: The Job Market is Saturated
Lesson 2: Your Country Needs You.
Lesson 4: Time Waits For Nobody
and the final lesson – Sooner or Later, We all die.
The course, of course, will be spread throughout Students’ University Years. With  no credit value because anyone who passes this course would have created jobs.
Anyone who fails, well…would work for those who passed.
🙂
The educational reform we need is going to happen whether we want it or not. Maybe in 2035.
Use of Buzz word. Check.
But multiply 3000 by each year we waste by and that is the same number of young, ambitious and energy fillled Cameroonian minds we waste.
We don’t need the 11th of February to be reminded we need jobs.
What we need is REALITY 101.