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Top Five Reasons for Unemployment in Uganda


Unemployment has been a critical issue in many African countries, including Uganda, for a long time.

Statistically, youths between the age of 15 to 24 years are more likely to be unemployed compared to those above this age group.

Why Are So Many Ugandans Jobless

First, let’s discuss the social consequences of unemployment. When people don’t have jobs, they are more likely to have marital problems. Joblessness also leads to health problems like depression and chronic stress.

Lack of employment directly results in a poverty-stricken nation. When people don’t have jobs to earn a living, they feel insecure and inadequate. It also means that people have no money to spend, leading to a poor economy.

This is why the majority of political manifestos make job creation a priority. Third-world countries are facing a very difficult time trying to fix this problem.

Although some opportunities, such as gig work, have emerged to help people make money online in Uganda, lack of exposure has left youths lagging behind. Let’s look at a few of the reasons why unemployment has been a menace for the Ugandan government for a long time.

1. Rural-Urban Migration

Like many other developing countries in Africa, Uganda faces a high rate of rural-urban migration. The figures for those living in urban areas have risen significantly, with trends showing that the country will be among the most urbanized in Africa by 2050.

People from rural areas mainly go to urban areas to seek economic relief. They are relocating to towns to escape lower living standards in the countryside. This influx has led to an oversupply of labor in a small job market. The landscape, therefore, cannot offer employment to all these new job seekers.

2. Rigged Education System

The education offered by the education system of Uganda does not match job requirements. Education in Uganda and a majority of African countries is too theoretical. The education system also does not offer proper guidance to students career-wise. This kind of system does not adequately prepare students for work.

Companies are unwilling to employ these students who are graduating from school with zero employable skills despite the duty falling in their scope. Many youths are not qualified enough to be employed despite going through the best schools that a country like Uganda has to offer.

3. Lack of Entrepreneurship Skills

The people of Uganda do not have the necessary skills to run a business successfully. There are very few successful entrepreneurs, which has discouraged many of the youths from even venturing into business.

If the majority of the people were motivated enough and had the necessary skills to run a business successfully, employment opportunities would flourish tremendously. This mediocre success rate of companies in Uganda stems from the lack of schools’ focus on how to start and run businesses.

4. Population Growth

Man looking at chart

Rapid population growth of the country is one of the factors that are leading to high unemployment rates. The high fertility rate in Uganda causes this increase.

The boom in population will mean that more youths flock to the Ugandan job market looking for employment, but there are no jobs for them. The economic landscape needs to be bigger to care for the massive labor force.

5. Corruption, Nepotism, and Tribalism

The people of Uganda have a mentality where they believe that you must know someone in a high place to get a job.

The determinant factor of whether you will obtain employment is not your qualifications but your connection. This has kept many qualified individuals jobless and discouraged others from applying for jobs, opting to stay home instead.

The country has a notorious history of favoritism among people from the same tribe. According to surveys, many of those occupying high-power jobs in government, the army, and the police come from a single tribe.


Although the government has implemented measures to cut down the unemployment rate in the country, it is a relatively slow-moving process.

One way to help eliminate unemployment is by advising youths on how to get jobs online. This knowledge will allow them to work without leaving their homes’ comfort. As such, internet infrastructure must improve.

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