Will Mobile phones fix youth unemployment in Zimbabwe?
Most of the youths in Zimbabwe have resorted to social media on their mobile phones as well as on computers. This among others has been due to unemployment in the country that has of late been on the rise over the past decade. The teens to adults are considered to be the most users of social media, however, it is important to take note that Zimbabwe has less internet penetration in terms of tech literacy among the general populace. Most people have resorted to the use of social media for different reasons among them to find employment due to social media being a favourite for advertisers. Our findings showed us that phone connections are not enough.
Connectivity is only useful if it opens up access to employment opportunities that will pay for a living. Most young people are exposed to the informal sector for employment at an early age but for those with entrepreneurial minds in the last decade, mobile phones have brought potential and new flexibility to earn a living directly linked to phones, selling airtime, charging, sales representing and mending phones. This is often short-term, low paid work but can help them to earn money for further training. People also make use of their phones extensively to build up personal contacts in key support networks while looking for jobs.
For some youths, phones/social media have helped them to be creative on circulating jokes, put them in a fantasy world so as to keep them off the streets and avoid crime through it but failing to address the status quo. Others are using mobile phones for analysis, communication, problem-solving and entertainment.