Our country Timor-Leste was founded under two main principles which are freedom of the country and prosperity of the people. Our country is free, but are our people prosperous?
The prosperity of the people was a big concept our founding fathers dreamt of. They felt, like many global thinkers, that people cannot prosper if they live in poverty and lack employment opportunities.
To prosper, Timorese need secure income to live in dignity and harmony among other countries of the world. This ‘prosperity’ means having access to decent work, either in self-employment or as an employee, and from that work, a secure income to make choices to satisfy their health, education, and basic needs.
Our constitution recognises the critical role of ‘employment’ in our nations development, and that employment will be generated by the private sector, cooperative development, and the public sector. To achieve this, the government have developed several plans and economic recovery and employment strategies. These plans create a roadmap toward a more prosperous and employed Timor-Leste, but implementation remains a concern.
More than 74% of the Timorese population is less than 35 years of age. If the majority of these have access to decent work in the next 10 years, what is possible for our nation?
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic’s arrival in March 2020 employment has gone backwards with those in the formal and informal sectors badly impacted by necessary state of emergency measures and sanitary fences. A recent United Nations survey found that one in four households has had one family member lose their job since COVID-19 began, half of surveyed micro, small, and medium enterprises have opted for indefinite closure, and 80% reported financial losses .
Many Timorese, including government leaders, are focused on unemployment and future jobs for Timorese young people. But what is the best way forward?
Dalan ba hetan empregu provides a platform for Timorese and other stakeholders who want to take action on national unemployment. You can watch previous talk shows by the following RTTL youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBBm1UkuwAE
Dalan ba hetan empregu aims to bring focus to this critical national issue, by listening to Timorese thinkers, academics, young people and government officials. To bring together multiple perspectives, present high quality data, and generate ideas to build action towards employment generation in Timor Leste.
Timorese experts will be showcased in the Dalan ba hetan empregu blog each fortnight but the voices of all are welcome. If you would like to contribute, please email Geraldo.Ximenes@thepalladiumgroup.com in maximum 300 words your best idea on how to create more employment opportunities for Timorese people in the country and overseas.
 United Nations, 2021, TIMOR-LESTE’S DRIVERS OF GROWTH AND SECTORAL TRANSFORMATION Pg:6)