Focusing on unemployment among young people as a development challenge, this paper examines how youth development policy can be used to achieve productive and sustainable employment for youth in Tanzania. In order to examine to what extent the National Youth Development Policy is currently being implemented leaders from the government as well as various youth NGOs were interviewed. These interviews revealed the kinds of youth employment programs that exist in Tanzania and to what extent they are implementing the objectives of the policy. The opinions of young people were also sought through two focus group discussions held at higher learning institutions in Dar es Salaam. The findings revealed that while there is a commitment to implementing the objectives within the National Youth Development Policy, within the government and the civil society there are still social and economic factors such as scarcity of resources, the lack of shared information between government and civil society and the perception of young people within the social cultural context of Tanzania that hinder its full implementation. There is a great deal of potential for this research to be applied. At the global level it provides a model for other countries as well as for Tanzania for how to use the present social structure to implement youth employment initiatives. At the organizational level, this research can be used to identify areas of advocacy for youth organizations and areas for policy formulation and change for government. And at the individual level it can motivate young people to use the existing structures to voice their needs and concerns.