CS Joe Mucheru has emphasized that the youth have the capacity to create more jobs for themselves than government through innovation. While speaking at an event in Kiambu, he urged all county governments to equip the youth with relevant skills which can fuel innovations and create jobs. This will shift their mindsets from job seekers to job creators and owners of capital.
Unemployment in Kenya
According to World Bank’s ILOSTAT database, unemployment rate in Kenya is 5.7% as at February 8, 2022. This is a significant drop from 7.2% in the third quarter of 2021 and from 10.40% in the second quarter of 2020. Practically, these figures define the share of the labor force that does not have a job but is actively seeking employment. This improvement is a product of many factors including government’s initiatives to reward and encourage innovation among the youth.
Investing in Youth
Back in 2019, the government of Kenya partnered with World Bank to offer grants to young entrepreneurs in Kenya. The process involved a vigorous business plan competition dubbed “Mbele Na Biz” across the country. Out of 12,000 submitted applications, 750 top business plans won business grants. Eventually, five hundred business plans received KES 900,000 while the rest received KES 3,600,000 distributed in three tranches.
A basic evaluation show that the majority seem to have created opportunities from this initiative. However, a section of the beneficiaries have accused MSEA of allegedly hoarding their final tranches.
Mucheru said that the youth must be encouraged to exploit their talents and seek to provide solutions to the ever-present challenges facing the country like unemployment, food security and health among others.