KEPSA, Absa Sign Deal to Address the ‘Youth Burden’ Through Digital Skills

According to KEPSA’s Chief Executive Officer Ms. Carole Kariuki, at least one million Kenyans enter the job market every year.


Absa Bank, formerly Barclays Bank, has announced a partnership with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) that will see the empowerment of more than one million Kenyan youth that make a living from online platforms.

The collaboration will benefit groups that are under the Ajira Digital and Ready-to-Work umbrellas, which are youth programs for KEPSA and Absa, respectively.

The lender will offer work-readiness skills training via its Ready-to-Work program. Absa will take advantage of KEPSA’s network to create alliances and linkages to enable enterprises to outsource work.

Furthermore, the partnership will seek to boost the Kenya government’s skills and youth empowerment programs to address the high rate of unemployment, and inability to find work.

According to KEPSA’s Chief Executive Officer Ms. Carole Kariuki, at least one million Kenyans enter the job market every year.

However, the economy has not been able to offer the required number of opportunities to sustain such high numbers.

The numbers, of course, are alarming, hence, it is the mandate of the private sector that provides about 90 percent of employment, both formal and informal, to alleviate the ‘youth burden’ constraint.

Besides, it is for this reason that KEPSA, through its social arm named KEPSA Foundation, alongside its partnership with over 1 million businesses, is working to equip Kenyan youth with skills and work opportunities.

So far, Absa’s Ready-to-Work program, which was launched six years ago, has reportedly impacted more than 200K youth in Kenya. It targets to push the numbers to 1 million by 2023.

This partnership provides an opportunity where youth from our ongoing interventions like the Ajira Digital project can access the much-needed employability skills as well as open up job linkage opportunities. We hope that through our various engagements and activities that we will be conducting in line with this partnership we can unlock thousands of jobs to young people in the creative industry as influencers and content creators. – KEPSA’s Chief Executive Officer Ms. Carole Kariuki

The partnership with KEPSA through the Ajira Program that we are launching today is in line with our ongoing efforts in this critical area of youth empowerment. We hope to establish digital and technologically enabled job opportunities through this agreement, with the goal of connecting one million competent youth to these opportunities. – Absa’s Managing Director Jeremy Awori