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Charles E. M. Ruyembe

Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia


Tanzania has a rich and diverse cultural history based in community cultural life. However, at present, young people have limited opportunity to exploit this richness of traditional knowledge and engage in creative jobs as their means of future sustainable employment. Hence, the significant challenge remains: how to integrate and enhance the traditional knowledge in a learning strategy, while there is no  “inter-ministerial action and institutional mechanisms” (United Nations 2008, 33-35) to promote creative employment for young people. This article reports on a case study that examined how the two Ministries of Culture and Education might work together to support Tanzania’s young people to secure, and engage successfully in creative jobs. The case study employed mixed methods, incorporating questionnaires, interviews and focus groups. The study was undertaken in Dar-Es-Salaam, Mwanza, Bagamoyo, Dodoma, Lindi and Morogoro from July to October, 2012. This paper discusses some of the issues and argues that there is no practical utilization of traditional knowledge and skills in “putting education to work” (UNESCO 2012, 170)  for the better prospects of young people and to reveal the story of their lives. Although this study is specific to Tanzania, the case may also apply to other developing countries.

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