5 Steps to Reduce KRG Unemployment Now

By Razbar Sulaiman:

On the sidelines of the First Economic Forum of Erbil’s Middle East Research Institute (MERI) Frank Gunter, professor of economics at (Lehigh University) in the United States said: “My own research shows that, between residents and refugees settled here, there are 620,000 unemployed. That is a destabilizing influence. Young men want jobs, they want to get married. If they can’t do that, it leads to alienation and other problems which lead to destabilization. We have seen this in the United States and in other places,” He said that with 70,000 people trying to join the work force every year, the current number of 620,000 unemployed will more than double in a year. Starting now, the Kurdish government must create 70,000 annually.

We know the problem, so what is the solution? How about trying these simple things, here is my opinion:

  1.  Ensure that all jobs during this period of crisis are assigned to Kurds rather than to Turks, Arabs, Pakistanis and Filipinos and others who have been encouraged to come here by employers.
  2. Penalise any company, factor and individuals who are hiring other than Kurds.
  3. Make it illegal to import any Turkish, Iraqi, Iranian and other foreign products into Kurdistan so that people can be encouraged and rely on themselves to cultivate the land and start producing home goods.
  4. Arrest those “masools” (party officials) who prevent people from having a business unless they make the “masools” a partner.
  5. Educate people to improve their business and their way of thinking about national products.

Did you know that 24 out of 25 contractors are Turkish and they all employ Turkish labours?! Did you know that 83% of vegetables and fruit comes from Turkish farms?! Did you know that 75% of the major service providers are in the hands of Arabs and Turks?!

Without these five points, you will not be able to control unemployment.


Razbar Sulaiman is 20 years old, studying accounting at University of Human Development (UHDIS). Co-Founder of HackaSlemani. Ambassador of AngelHack & HackaGlobal in Kurdistan. Social media facilitator at HackaErbil & Startup-weekend Erbil. Volunteer at UNHCR & Kurdistan Save The Children (KSC). Economic researcher. 


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