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Climate change is becoming a major global concern as it threatens sustainable livelihoods, economic development, and global security. More than 70% of all natural disasters in Tanzania are climate change related and are linked to recurrent drought and floods (Irish, 2016). Climate change has increased levels of its impacts over time and one thing to note is that we will leave the earth to today’s children and young people and to the future generation. Young people are not only victims of climate change but they are also contributor to climate action (ILO, 2015-2016).

Africa has the world’s young population of 60% of its 1.25 billion people aged 25. Unemployment and underemployment among young people are persistent issues. According to ILO, (2015-2016) Tanzania youth unemployment stands at 11.5% and this is in spite of the high rates of economic growth in the past decade averaging 7%. Unfortunately, the rapid gains in economic growth and education have not translated into productive and decent employment significant enough to alleviate poverty (ILO, 2015-2016). Youth are becoming more aware of the challenges posed by the climate crisis, as well as a variety of social and economic disparities that they experience and witness. Their awareness heightens their concerns about justice and equity, as well as their prospects for decent, long-term employment in the face of the climate crisis.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2022) recently released its Sixth Assessment Report, which serves as a stark reminder of harmful effects to nature and human life posed by the climate crisis. According to the report, limiting warming to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach unless immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are implemented. The effects of climate change are projected to create poverty which will particularly affect those in vulnerable groups, such as women, children and young people (World Vision, 2021). Rural youth which see no opportunity in staying there as impact of climate change on agriculture is threatening water availability and harvests through increased extreme weather events (storms, drought etc) thus farmers have low income or sometime no income security

Why Youth Employment?

Youth employment issues are major concerns because they affect the welfare of young people and potentially the long-term performance and stability of the rest of the economy (World bank, 2012). Investing in young people’s potential and developing sustainable and environmentally friendly business solution will contribute to sustainable green growth in Tanzania. Engaging young people in climate action is both a challenge and an opportunity to achieve sustainable development through youth-led climate change solutions. Addressing the climate crisis in collaboration with youth, through greening and job creation, will shape the future of the planet. Thus, the government has to develop opportunities for education and employment of youth through a successful market-based approach.

The links between employment and climate change

Climate change interacts with employment in several ways. Firstly, by contrast both adaptation to climate change and measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions offer opportunities to create new jobs, while increasing the resilience of existing ones. Climate action will stimulate investment and innovation in emerging products and services, creating new jobs and transforming others. Secondly, climate change and environmental degradation pose significant challenges to economic growth and employment. Climate change-related shocks will slow down our progress in reducing poverty. Without appropriate adaptation measures climate change will cause 100 million additional people to live in extreme poverty by 2030. The impacts will disproportionately affect those in developing countries working in economic sectors that are reliant on natural resources and climate such as agriculture, energy and water (Richard, 2021). Thirdly, the growth of innovative climate-technologies and industries can be limited by slow growth in workforce skills. Professional training of youth will broaden their skills and offers an opportunity to train youth for green jobs in order to fill the demand of skilled workers by the industry and facilitate the needed transition

Conclusion and Recommendation

To date, youth employment in Tanzania shows that there is a strong desire among young people to work in innovative (technology-driven) climate-smart industries. Contributing to society through meaningful and sustainable work provides them with an additional incentive to engage and participate in different climate action program. Jobs for young people are a critical vehicle for their social, economic, and political inclusion. There is an opportunity to address the multiple challenges of youth unemployment, poverty, and climate change by investing in climate smart agriculture and clean energy technology and attracting young people into these enterprises. Involving and including youth in the development of a strategic plan that benefits them, knowledge transfer, and creating an enabling environment for young people, particularly women, will aid in attracting young people. Young people are more aware of the many social and environmental problems that our country faces, as well as the willingness and potential to address these issues and move our societies toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.


Irish, 2016 - Tanzania Climate Action Report International Labor Organization (2015-2016) United Nations Joint Programme on Youth Employment, Tanzania

Richard McNally (2021) Climate Change and Youth Employment

Stephanny Ulivieri (March 2022) Youth Employment and Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2022) report World Bank (December 2012), Why focus on youth employment?

World Economic Forum (2021) This is what African youth think about climate change, The future of Environment, 9 th December 2021

World Vision (June 21, 2021), How Climate Change Impacts Poverty


It is a non-for-profit, member-based - of over 80 diverse organizations across Tanzania committed to work on climate change issues in Tanzania and beyond.

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