Getty image  Somali youth.


 Somalia has been in fragile state for over two and half decades, suffering from anarchy, conflict and socioeconomic problems. The root cause of the problem is the collapse of the Somali central government in 1992. Before the civil war the government had functioning institutions with the provision of social and public services including free education, health facilities, national defense, and supported economic productive sources.

The Somali people with the support of strong opponents of the regime decided to overthrow the system with little or no contingent plan prepared which would take over the vacuum, so that the country’s future is safeguarded.

The country’s population is 12.4 Million of which 42.2 % of this constitutes are living in urban settings, while the rural also constitutes about 23% according to UNFPA and Somali Federal Government population estimation Survey. This is not validated/endorsed census by the concerned parties, it is an estimation figures combined by different actors mainly NGOs led by the UNFPA with support of Somali Federal Government.  

Socioeconomic challenges

Over 70% of the Somali population is under thirty years old, which is a largest number of the population, the unemployment rate for youth aged 14 to 29 is 67 percent—one of the highest rates in the world; women lose out more, with unemployment rates at 74%, compared to men at 61%. 40% of youths are actively looking for work, while 21% are neither working nor in school.

The intensity of the unemployment issue is factored by the limited job opportunities and employers in the country. Somalia has attracted a number of foreign investors’ especially multinational corporations and companies, traders and entrepreneurs, however the security of situation halted most operations.

Shortage of economic sources: the country is rich with a natural resource, unfortunately a few segments are focused on. Many people duplicate the same economical ventures rather than exploring new areas of business, production and service segments. This has shrunk the job opportunities and the required man power in the job market. This calls for activation and diversification of new sectors both in public and private.

Despite the limited employers in job market there is a negative and unfairness distribution of the jobs, the reader may quickly think, this is quite and often happening in the public sector, but over and over occurs the same as way in the private sector.

Migration is trigged as one of the most challenging issue for Somali youth unlike the other African Youth around the continuant.  Illegal immigration poses far reaching problems for many African youths. When traveling the youth have final destinations in mind such as Europe or America for more promising life than in their home countries. Somali youth are not an exception to this.. Many of these youth will tell you how they have been planning to leave Somalia one day. Somalia is among the many nations where illegal immigration is so prevalent like many other African countries in the continent.

A larger number of Somali youth have become victims to Mediterranean Sea while crossing and looking for better future. This past April, more than 400 migrants of which 200 were Somalis drowned in the Mediterranean after four overcrowded boats capsized whilst crossing from Egypt to Italy. |The phenomena is likely to continue unless change are implemented on security and economic situation of the country. 


  • Creation of employment opportunities for youth can be used to combat idleness which pulls them to spend many hours in social media that most of the time beckons them to cross the dangerous ocean
  • Engaging youth in co-curricular activities including sports can be a restore hope methodology
  • A mass campaign of ‘dhulkaada beero’ plant your land program will promote nationalism and patriotism among the youth members


Hassan Sheikh Hussein , 

MDS,Researcher &Youth specialist.