Why We Train Tanzanian Youth for Business

Evarist Kamwaga
June 12, 2024
A person stands and speaks to a large group of uniformed Tanzanian youth seated in a classroom, delivering an engaging training session focused on business essentials.

GPF Tanzania hosts workshops for students on business and peacebuilding.

Many young Tanzanians graduate from their educational institutions with dreams of bright futures. But the reality is that they struggle to find jobs. Our economy relies on farming, and factories aren’t growing fast enough. This makes young people, especially graduates, see farming as a challenging way to make a living.

Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Tanzania stepped in to help young people foster entrepreneurial skills and the character to use their new knowledge to uplift their communities. The concept of starting a business suddenly seemed feasible. Young people were eager to work for themselves, even starting small businesses on the street. Some want to use their education to create jobs, while others need skills to get started. But not everyone is a natural-born business owner.

With the help of local partners, GPF Tanzania trained 255 students with a Vocational Education and Training Academy in Mtwara to prepare them for life after graduation. Workshops also included extensive dialogue about volunteering, encouraging students to build a culture of service while gaining experience. They wouldn’t receive immediate pay, however, the benefits outweighed the monetary value alone.

A person in a blue shirt speaks to a group of seated Tanzanian youth wearing gray shirts and white head coverings in a classroom setting. Papers and notebooks are on a desk in the foreground, suggesting an ongoing business training session.

GPF Tanzania hosts workshops for students on business and peacebuilding.

Why do we care so much about this? Because our experience shows that poverty and lack of income are linked to violence. Young people without jobs are more likely to get involved in crime. If we don’t give them ways to earn money, someone else will take advantage of them.

The best way to stop violence is to address its root cause: lack of economic opportunity. As Peter Edson, a representative from GPF, said, “If you don’t understand yourself as a business owner, you can’t understand your customers or partners. But self-awareness helps you make good choices, which builds peace.”

The training sessions were led by teachers who specialize in business. Kelvin Thomas, an educator, said, “Self-awareness helps you set goals, understand your priorities, and make plans. By knowing what you want and how to achieve it, you’re more likely to succeed as a business owner.”

Benson Daudi, GPF program officer, added, “Entrepreneurs help create peace because they’re busy building a good life. They don’t have time for activities that destroy peace.”

GPF Tanzania plans to continue hosting educational workshops to equip young people in southern Tanzania with knowledge and skills to grow their economic capabilities and contribute to peacebuilding in their country.

Learn more Tanzania | Global Peace Foundation

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