Kenya: County signs deal with USAid to create jobs for youths

The county government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United States Agency for International Development to empower youths to access job opportunities.

The MoU, which is being implemented by Kenya Youth Employment and Skills (K-YES) and referred to as The Kisii County Youth Employment Compact, incorporates public sector organisations and the business community.

Speaking during the signing of the deal at Nyaore Vocational Training Centre yesterday, Deputy Governor Joash Maangi noted that a majority of Kenyans are under the age of 29 and are struggling to find employment.

“A majority of the population is below 29 years old, we are working closely with Kenya Youth Employment and Skills Programme to ensure youths have opportunity of being productive members of the society,” said Maangi.

He noted that time has come for the public and private sectors to work together to empower the youth instead of working on parallel programmes.

Maangi said the essence of the programme is to reach a formal agreement where vocational training systems work to improve training and employment outcomes for the youth and in return businesses, colleges, and other organisations provide jobs to the youths.

Education Executive Amos Andama said the county is committed to improving the quality of education in vocational training centres to satisfy the market demand for highly-skilled people. Andama further called on the public to make use of the centres, saying most of the facilities remain underutilised.

Source Stardard Media

Kenya: Lessons for our youth from Chef Maliha’s world record cooking feat

Maliha Mohammed, a young self-taught Kenyan chef recently entered the annals of history by breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon by an individual.

She prepared over 400 recipes in 75 hours of non-stop cooking. In doing so, she joined a galaxy of Kenyan achievers who set world records in diverse human endeavours.

The 36-year-old is an authentic role model and an inspiration to our youth. She has demonstrated that nothing is impossible.

And that success is the result of determination and persistence in whatever one excels in regardless of their background.

The same lesson comes from great Kenyan athletes like Tegla Lorupe, Samuel Wanjiru, Paul Tergat, who have shattered world records in their stellar careers.

Other Kenyans in the Guinness World Records are Joseph Love who in 1992 milked 30 cows in 24 hours, and Kimani Maruge who in 2003 became the oldest person in the world to enroll in primary school.

There are many lessons from the accomplishment of these and other outstanding Kenyan achievers.

Notably, they all came from humble backgrounds but went on to defy all odds and set world records. They used the little available resources they had to become world champions.

For Maliha, she honed her cooking skills via YouTube tutorials. Her path to success mirrors that of Julius Yego, the self-trained Kenyan javelin thrower and former world record holder.

Our youth should borrow a leaf from Maliha and Yego first, by identifying their talents, then acquiring the skills and knowledge to actualise their potential.

In other words, lack of formal training or college fees should not be a barrier to success in life.

Unemployment

Given the high levels of unemployment, we should encourage our youth to pursue their talents, for example, through entrepreneurship.

Many Kenyan youths have undiscovered talents they could use to change society.

Maliha is a shining example of how human endurance, resilience and grit contribute to success.

Prior to breaking the world record in August, she had spent many gruelling hours rehearsing for the big day – 36 hours in June and 54 hours in July.

The key lesson is, there is no short cut to success. No matter one’s vocation or profession, we must constantly strive to be the best by tirelessly perfecting our skills.

Another important lesson from Maliha’s feat is that to have an impact, we should set the bar high. Maliha set out to compete with the best globally.

The previous world record for the longest cooking marathon was 68 hours by American Ricky Lumpkin in 2018.

Great human achievements have no boundaries. By setting her sights on the global arena, she put Kenya on the international map with her new world record in cooking.

Local talent

The likes of Maliha need all the support they can get to flourish.

And not just from the government but also the private sector which should be encouraged to support local talent. This is crucial to unlocking hidden talents in diverse fields among our youth.

Many talented people do not have people to mentor them or even offer crucial financial and logistical support.

This is exactly where businesses come in as part of their corporate social responsibility to transform lives and communities.

This thinking inspired Pwani Oil to offer logistical support to Maliha through providing food ingredients and paying her participation fee to Guinness World Record.

There’s need to identify and support more talented Kenyans to showcase their skills to the world.

Kenya’s international profile rises when achievers like Maliha put Kenya on the world map with their accomplishments.

Think of the way our athletes have made the country famous. We should replicate this success in other fields including arts, entertainment, literature, science, and so on.

In addition, youth engagement is required if Kenya is to realise her targets as part of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda. The youth constitute the bulk of Kenya’s population.

Promoting youth talent is a sure path to eradicating poverty and achieving common prosperity as envisaged in the SDG framework.

Besides, young people should be empowered to become innovators and drivers of social and economic change.

They are capable of being leaders who can shape the future. Encouraging and supporting the likes of Maliha is an important step toward building a better world.

Source Stardard Media

I Am Inspired To Empower The Young People To Discover Their Full Potentials.

Advertisements

By AAYPAFRICA

Esther Neema is currently representing her country (Kenya) at the Africa Youth Development Commission (AYDEC). And She’s the main communication advisor for LAMUKANI in the rural coast of Kenya, she’s also serving the same capacity at the Yali Nairobi Alumni Network (YNAN).

Esther Neema is the founder and president of Dream Tribe. She fully believes Dream Tribe can help young people fulfill their dreams in enterprises, business development, public and marketing.

Esther has a rich background on stage in acting and in journalism. And she’s passionate about youth and entrepreneurship.

1. How did the idea for your business come about?

I started my first business as an events company. Then it evolved in to catering. I notice that my greatest challenge was access to markets. So, I start to revisit my business and wonder how can I expand the business. This is where the ides started. It was key to create a system, so that we don’t just get lucky, we have a plan and above all, a community, that becomes a support system.

So, on this faithful day at 4:00 in the AM, in 2016, I got an epiphany. What if we had a network, a community of people in Business and Marketers! Then we would share networks and more links to markets. That way, entrepreneurs would always have a tribe to belong.

I called it the Network. It was going to be everything I wished I had as an entrepreneur, a home and the community that I had always wished for.

It was a chance for all of us to participate in something bigger than ourselves, fueling everybody’s dreams through collaboration. It was going to validate 1000 dreams in time.

2. What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?

Leaving school, it never occurred to me there was a world of entrepreneurship. Having studied PR, the government spokesman, Alfred Mutua, then was my role model. I could see myself strutting the world as one, perhaps in red high heels, red lipstick. Well, this vision was until I got my first job, and I was bored to death in the afternoons literally having to lift my feet in the air daily not to dose, reaching work just before the 9:00 am, rushing in wearing my heels at the gate since it was a rule.

And I remember being so unsettled, and thinking, yo, this can’t be it!!! So one day, in my wandering years, my father, took my brother and I to the Market, walked us in to the stalls, literally taking all brochures to show us trade, I was Soaked in speeches on Rich Dad Poor dad. And there I was writing notes, as if this was just the bible. Astound by this huge possible world surely. You mean. He told us narrative of his hustler friends who straight out of college went in to business, and now could buy the world. I was sold out

3. How did you come up with the name for your company?

In Africa, Tribe have such high importance for individuals. They provide a great support system and a sense of belonging. I wanted a space where entrepreneurs can belong.

4. How did you raise funding for your venture?

I have funded myself, through working on jobs. I have occasionally gotten support from family.

5. How do you build a successful customer base?

Through social media and being part of many networks. Many are also friends and former colleagues.

6. How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?

Social media has got me many clients. I am constantly talking about Dream Tribe. That way, many people have approached me to work with them. Equally I pitch to corporates directly.

7. What kind of culture exists in your organization, and how did you establish it?

I observed that in an African community: “Poverty was a foreign concept. This could only be really brought about to the entire community by an adverse climate during a particular season. It never was considered repugnant to ask one’s neighbors for help if one was struggling .In almost all instances there was help between individuals, tribe, Chiefs, etc. even in spite of war” This explains why a community may have poor people but it may not have beggars”

Thus by using the same African spirit of coming together, establish great communities that influence great change in the entrepreneurship sector.

In Africa, the problem of one,is the problem of all. In Kenya, Haraambe made everything achievable. Tanzania Ujamaa ensures everybody wins. South-Africa, Ubuntu ensure that the principle of humanity thrives above all. In the sense that for a community to be well, all must be well.

How can these African principles engrained in our values leverage our success as traders in Africa. That together ALL and not ONE we leverage our unity for larger markets and a louder voice. In Business, the Indians, Somalis, and Kikuyus practice this, and you see their success in business is unquestionable. So you and Me, and every business person needs that sense of brotherhood, that we may equally survive. “Leave behind no one” and at last “Create an Africa that we want” That indeed should be our legacy

8. What motivates you?

I am motivated to see more young people live the life of their dreams. And I am inspired to empower the young people to discover their full potentials.

9. How do you generate new ideas?

I have many Dream Teams and together we come up with great ideas.

10. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

1+1=2. In most case, it is not about Re-inventing the wheel. It is actually about choosing paths. In most cases, paths had pegged consequent results. It is the reason gaining knowledge or for the first time accepting that you are short, you would start experience different experiences. Thus in learning a lot from others, we save on time and stop gallivanting aimlessly. We now start to move with a purpose. I was blessed to have amazing women who taught me and showed me the way, starting from my producer, who not only believed in me and gave me my first TV job and literally introduced me to make up and power, to the women that I interviewed on the show who were power itself, who I would later follow for life skills. Forever grateful that these women, let me in to their spaces, and that I would forever be a different person, than who I was before I met them.

11. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

FREEDOM: having this lifestyle allowed me to do the many things. Allowed me to spend my twenties learning, maybe not making as much as all, he he he he, some days I was below the poverty line. It was only when I looked back that I realized, I was now becoming “overqualified”. Being a perennial volunteer had built my expertise. And learned mostly, You are whoever, you say you are.

As TD Jakes put it, WHAT YOU DO IS NOT WHO YOU ARE!!! WHEN PEOPLE GIVE YOU TITLE THEY IMPRISON YOU. YOU ARE WHATEVER IS IN YOU. YOU ARE MORE THAN WHAT PEOPLE CALL YOU , MORE THAN THE JOB TITLE.”

Thus, it became key to discover: What am I made of, my capacity? How far can I stretch? Who do I want to be? And most importantly made me discover Multiple sources. And no oe could stop me.

12. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

When we see satisfaction in who we are serving and actually get paid for it.

13. What piece of advice would you give to university graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?

WHY YOU SHOULD BE A TRADER
Trade as something so noble. Half the time you are feeling ultimately crazy for an idea that sometimes doesn’t even make sense to even you. That you have to chant you are amazing on the daily to maintain sanity, before anything particularly shows for why you are gallivanting the universe. And you may wonder, why would anybody want to feel like this eh???

Far from the truth though, something is happening in your heart, your body and soul. You are probably working round the clock for something you feel strongly about, that sometimes wakes you at 3:00 in the am, because you can’t imagine never having given your dreams a chance. Staying late at night after work for it. Trying to discover the how, because your why is so strong.

You have big dreams that force you be better, to serve better and give more your contribution to earth. You learn every day, you grow, you negotiate, you shamelessly sell. Somehow you become a force in time. You wear many hats that you can be anyone in a company, you have had to do it all by yourself, before you find fellow dreamers. YOU BECOME, you are different.

You learn you can give it to yourself, you become your CEO, your marketer, and your greatest cheerleader. You learn to be social and basically a better human. How powerful!!! You can have your cakes and eat them all. You don’t take no for an answer when it comes to your dreams, you Just do it!!!

You learn, as my mentor put’s it, there is no shame in the game. And you just keep moving until you see the magic. And nothing is more beautiful than when you realize, I CAN DO IT!!! And it wasn’t really hard, it was simple. I feel those are the things that make it all worth it. You can do it.

And above all, you get to serve humanity in a large way by providing solutions to the problems we experience everyday.

12. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t, I guess

13. Who has been your greatest inspiration? Oprah

14. If you had a magic stick, which are the three things you would change in the world?

  • I would ensure equality of opportunities.
  • I would upgrade slums.
  • I would make everyone believe in themselves.

15. What is the part of your life experience you would alter if you had the chance to?

I would have studied business.

16. If you were to write a book about yourself, how would you name it?

Esther Unchained.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Kenya: Catholic youth drive climate action across Africa

Advertisements

Kenyan activist Allen Ottaro has been inspired by his faith to mobilise a generation of conservationists.

By Wesley Langat

For Allen Ottaro, caring for the environment is part of his “calling to serve God”.

Advertisements

The 35-year-old activist from Nakuru, Kenya, has become a leading advocate for climate action across the continent, by mobilising Catholic youth.

From small beginnings in 2011, with 15 like-minded friends who met after church services, he established the Catholic youth network for environmental sustainability in Africa (Cynesa) to spread the word.

Advertisements

“I discovered that youths in our church are an untapped resource and can be engaged in conservation activities,” he told Climate Home News.

Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the most youthful populations in the world, with more than 200 million people aged 15-24 and rising. This youth bulge brings environmental challenges, increasing demand for natural resources at the same time as climate change puts a strain on ecosystems.

Advertisements

They are also a force for positive change, Joyce Msuya, deputy executive director at UN Environment, emphasised at a conference organised by the Vatican in July.

“We are deeply committed to working with youth, as well as with faith leaders and faith-based organizations from around the world, to achieve the goals set out in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development,” she said.

Advertisements

Since establishing Cynesa, Ottaro has worked with parishes, schools and other groups to address climate change and other environmental issues. In his home diocese of Nakuru, the youth have planted 8,000 trees.

The network has spread like wildfire across Africa and now registers members from more than 10 countries, including Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda and South Africa.

Advertisements

In Tanzania, for example, 500 young people turn out to clean the beaches of Dar es Salaam every three months.

“Convincing church leaders to give this a priority isn’t easy but this has to change,” Ottaro said.

Advertisements

Mercy Munene, a student at United States International University Africa (USIU), is a volunteer with Cynesa who has taken part in environmental activities and received mentoring.

“The opportunity awakens my consciousness and now I’m very sensitive to environmental issues,” she said. The opportunity has inspired her to teach others about Christianity’s message of care for creation.

Advertisements

Alphonse Rugigana, with training and guidance from Cynesa, organises environmental activities like tree planting and clean up exercises in various parishes in Rwanda.

The Archdiocese of Kigali has planted 500 tree seedlings, with the help of four primary schools, and works with five universities on environmental education for 300 students.

Advertisements

“I’m so happy today, our work is much easier with the help of the church because it’s a credible organization,” said Rugigana. “We mentored a generation of environmentally conscious youngsters to bring a positive action to promote environmental conservation.”

Four years after Pope Francis issued a letter to the faithful, Laudato Si, calling on them to take action on climate change, a conference in Nairobi hammered the message home.

Advertisements

“Our continent is particularly vulnerable to the climate and biodiversity crises… the ‘cry of the climate’ is already proving devastating to many African countries” said leading church official Bruno Duffè. “I am encouraged about the participation of young Catholics in these mobilizations given the urgency of the situation.”

This article was produced as part of an African reporting programme supported by Future Climate for Africa.

Kenya: Youths Accessing Online Jobs Through Ajira Digital Program

Advertisements

By Kenyanews.go.ke (Kimani Tirus)

630, 000 youths have accessed online jobs through Ajira Digital Program (ADP) courtesy of Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology.

According to Government Spokesperson (GS), Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna, over 22, 000 youths have also been trained on how to secure online jobs.

“Ajira Digital platform provides opportunities for the youths to access online jobs from where they can earn a living beyond the Kenyan job market,” Col. (Rtd) Oguna observed.

Advertisements

He said in order to facilitate ADP the government has been rolling out the National Optic Fibre Backbone (NOFBI) as well as establishing Constituency Innovation Hubs (CIHs) in constituencies countrywide in collaboration with local leadership.

“Already 146 CIHs have been established and a lot more are expected to come up which will provide Ajira program working space and training venues,” he said adding that 140 ICT officers deployed in all 47 counties have been trained to support the program.

To reach youth in institutions of higher learning with Ajira program, Col.(Rtd) Oguna noted, 23 Ajira Clubs have been launched in various institutions such University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

Advertisements

Meanwhile, the Government Spokesperson said the government will soon revive Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) which went under in 1987 due to global economic dynamics.

He allayed perceptions from some quarters that KNSL is being given preferential treatment ahead of its revival at the expense of other shipping lines in Mombasa.

“As Government, we wish to state that KNSL will only operate two berths from a total of 21. This leaves 19 other berths to be used by other shipping lines,” the GS noted.

Advertisements

Concerning the relationship of KHSL and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), The GS told the press on Thursday at Kiritiri in Mbeere South that the relationship is purely commercial and in the best interest of the country.

“MSC is willing to offer Kenyans employment opportunities unlike any other shipping lines and has already offered opportunities to 125 Kenyans and another 100 Kenyans seafarers will be offered jobs by MSC by Monday next week. In total MSC projects to create 1000 jobs for Kenyans annually,” he observed.

Advertisements

On Huduma Namba, Col.(Rtd) Oguna said over 37.7 Million Kenyans were registered adding that soon the government will be opening a two week window for the 11 Million Kenyans who did not register to do so through their local assistant chiefs.

He noted payment of those who participated in the exercise of registering the Huduma Namba is ongoing urging them to be patient.

Advertisements

Kenya: Nakuru youth receive training on customer service, life skills

By Businessdailyafrica.com (KEVIN ROTICH)

Two hundred youths in Nakuru last Thursday received training on youth entrepreneurship and employment as the world marked the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) day.

The youth drawn from various corners of the county also received training on customer service relations and life skills.

Under the umbrage of the Kenya Government in partnership with the World Bank, the government is implementing the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP) that will run from 2016-2021.

Other implementers of the initiative also include Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA) and the Aayden Consulting Limited.

In the project, KYEOP’s objective is to increase employment and earning opportunities among targeted young people across Kenya. It aims to reach over 280,000 youth during the project period.

According to Nakuru County MSEA Coordinator Kenneth Ruto, the initiative usually receives huge applications and due to limited spacing, participants are usually picked on a haphazard basis.

“For candidates to enroll into the programme they have to apply through our online portal and invariably we receive voluminous of applications. That makes it hard for us to select the best candidates,” Mr Ruto said.

The training, which is in its third session, mainly involves youth between 18 and 29 years of age but sometimes this is extended to 35 years for those who are jobless and have experienced long spells of unemployment or who are currently working in vulnerable jobs.

And for one to enroll into the programme, a minimum qualification of a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) is required. The project will reach youth within selected counties in urban and rural areas.

Mr Ruto said that the initiative has so far trained more than 1,000 youths and that the programme will continue into the future.

“Currently, we are in the third phase of the programme. In the first project, we trained 250 youths and in the second one, we trained 400 youths. This time round — in the third project — we have trained 600 youths,” he said.

He adds that after they pick participants into the programme, they select individuals who will receive grants of Sh40, 000 each from the World Bank to start or boost their businesses.

“Thereafter, after we award grants, we also pick few participants from the first and second groups from the large group. For this year, we selected 200 individuals from the combination of the first and second batches which adds up to 650,” he said.

Furthermore, he said, among the 650 individuals, they then select individuals who will be trained in the KYEOP’S Business Development Services (BDS) from the larger group.

During the entire programme, participant’s accommodations, welfares and meals are catered for.

Kenya youths get Sh30 billion for quality jobs

By Standardmedia.co.ke (Fredrick Obura)

Five million youths across the country stand to benefit from a sh30 billion partnership aimed at creating quality jobs.

The project also known as Young Africa Works in Kenya is aligned to the country’s economic priorities, including the ‘Big Four’ sectors (enhancing manufacturing, food security and nutrition, universal health coverage, and affordable housing), as well as the digital economy.

Mastercard Foundation on Thursday said the commitment ropes in the government and private sector targeting to support 5 million Kenyans access quality jobs. The programme will run for a period of five years.

“Kenya has a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, a strong private sector, and an enabling policy environment,” said Reeta Roy, President, and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation. “Young Africa Works in Kenya builds on this momentum to prepare and connect young people to opportunities that will grow the economy and transform their lives.”

The partnership is part of the Foundation’s ambitious strategy to enable 30 million young people in Africa secure dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

To achieve this, the Mastercard Foundation will implement solutions in 10 countries, including Kenya. The initiative will equip young people with digital, vocational, and life skills; use technology to connect employers and job seekers; and support entrepreneurs and micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to grow and generate work through access to finance business development services, and markets.

“We have a strong platform to expand job opportunities for our young people. We are now seeking to unlock their potential; with this platform being an important avenue to allow them to transform their lives, the country, and the world. What we are launching today will contribute significantly towards this goal in several ways,” said President Uhuru at the project launch.

Partners such as Equity Group Foundation, Equity Bank Group, KCB Group, and KCB Foundation will provide billions of shillings in the capital, business development services, and market linkages to MSMEs to support their growth.

The project will support the expansion of the Ajira Digital program, which will provide digital skills training and mentoring to young Kenyans as well as increase their access to locally available digital and digitally-enabled jobs.

This implementation will be undertaken with Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), and private sector innovators such as eMobilis.

In addition, Moringa School will provide digital and professional skills training in software development and data science through their blended learning model and will help place graduates in leading technology companies in Kenya and across the region.

The Mastercard Foundation is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to support the strengthening of technical and vocational education and training institutions (TVETs) in order to improve the employability of graduates while working closely with the private sector.

“Entrepreneurship is the key to an economically empowered nation,” said Ruth Kaveke, Co-founder and Executive Director of Pwani Teknowgalz, and one of the speakers at the launch event. “Young entrepreneurs need access to finance and mentorship, and importantly, the right exposure to domestic and international markets to generate revenue and provide job opportunities for other youth in the country.”

Kenyan Youths See Green Future in Collecting Garbage

By Voanews.com (Ruud Elmendorp)

According to the United Nations, uncollected garbage is a growing problem in cities around the globe, especially in areas with fast-rising populations. But there are solutions, as a youth group in Kenya’s capital is demonstrating.

“My name is Isaac Mutisia. I am 35 years old, and I am the co-founder of the Mathare Environmental Conservation Youth Group.”

We’re in the Mathare slum of Nairobi. Six-story high brick apartment buildings are around us. Ladies are selling groceries, and men are selling plastics.

Isaac Mutisia and his colleagues enter a building and climb the narrow stairs. They come out with a big dustbin full of garbage emitting an obnoxious stench.

FILE – Children stand amid trash in a building earmarked for demolition in the Mathare neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya, May 17, 2016.

Some 200,000 people are believed to live in Mathare, in an area of just 2 square kilometers. The slum is not only congested with people, but also with their garbage.

According to the United Nations, one city dweller produces 1 kilogram of garbage per day. For Mathare, it means that every day 200,000 kilograms of trash finds its way into a public space.

While taking a break from carrying garbage cans, Mutisia says that collecting waste is a dire necessity.

“When you have a lot of people in one area and there is no proper way of handling waste, you find that everyone dumps waste everywhere,” he said.

Mutisia says the waste was piling up on street corners and illegal dumping sites. Doctors warn about the health effects of garbage, especially for children.

Doris Shiundi is a physician in a local clinic. In the next room a nurse is giving a sick baby a checkup.

“When you have a lot of garbage on the street like here in Mathare, most of the times we see patients who come here with diarrhea, sometimes cholera. Others come in with food poisoning because they eat on the street,” she said.

FILE – A student empties a dustbin next to a murky stream near a school in Kenya’s Kibera slums in capital Nairobi, Sept. 21, 2015.

This situation led Mutisia to do something to clean up the garbage, and at the same time meet another challenge.

“We saw the importance of making our community clean and also creating employment among ourselves because there was a challenge of unemployment,” he said.

Mutisia now has 100 youths collecting waste in the area, making money from households that pay to have their trash hauled away.

Once collected, the waste is brought to a legal dumping site.

The youths’ effort has caught the attention of local government officials, like Thomas Arimu

“We encourage the youths to copy what Kaka is doing to the neighboring community so that it becomes healthy,” he said.

Mutisia, meanwhile, is on the way to his next mission, visiting the U.N.-Habitat Assembly in Nairobi to talk about Mathare’s public spaces. His dream is to make the area as clean and green as the United Nations compound in Nairobi.

Kenya: Youth to form groups to benefit from Govt funds and programs

By Capitalfm.co.ke (NJOKI KIHIU)

The government is now calling on youths to form groups and seek government programs and funds saying it is easier because the group acts as security.

Speaking during a press conference on Thursday, the Government Spokesman Col. Rtd. Cyrus Oguna said the government is determined to empower the youth and reduce the rate of unemployment.

“As we continue to develop, we must appreciate that development of any kind does not just happen, it is made to happen. For our development to be sustainable, we must invest in the youth; the greatest national resource,” he said.

“As the country embarks on the path of 56thyear of self-rule, the government wishes to recommit itself to its goal of empowering the youth. Youth empowerment has remained a priority area for the government with the understanding that a country that does not empower its youth has no future.”

Oguna added that the government has consistently rolled out various programs and initiatives to achieve its goal.

He outlined nine programs which he wants the youth to take advantage of including the National Youth Service, Uwezo Fund, Constituency Empowerment Scheme among others.

For the Uwezo Fund which targets to assist the youth on entrepreneurship, Ksh. 5.97b Oguna said has been approved and 65,350 groups have already benefited, out of this, 22,000 are youth groups.

He further urged the young people to stop being selective with jobs adding that the government has already disbursed 5 billion loans to youth groups to invest in agri-business among other projects.

“As a government we acknowledge that challenges in job creation exist. However, our economy has continued to grow both in informal and formal sectors. We therefore urge Kenyans and especially the youth to embrace the culture of hard work and not be selective about jobs. Let this be a new dawn during which we are not only renewing our patriotism to motherland but one which we want to relive the clarion call of ‘Uhuru na Kazi’,” Oguna said.

According to survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in 2018, 7 million Kenyans were unemployed with 1.4 million out of this figure desperately looking for jobs and 70 percent were youths below 35 years of age.

Farming: Youth in Kenya embraces new technology in seed potato production

By Potatopro.com

Despite being a trained accountant and currently pursuing a Bachelor in Commerce, James Gachiri had a desire to become a successful potato farmer.

This was not unusual as he comes from Nyandarua a county that is the leading producer of potatoes in Kenya. As an informed farmer, he set out looking for certified potato seeds which he knew would give him maximum returns. But he was soon disappointed as there was a shortage of certified seeds and almost gave up.

James Gachiri, a 29 years old farmer and Secretary-General of the Nyandarua Youth in Agri-business Forum:

“I looked for certified seeds in all government institutions like Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) and others but I didn’t get. For about five to six months the seeds were not available and that is when I realized there was a gap in the potato value chain that I could fill.”

“I realized that producing certified seed potato might give me more profit than the normal potato farming and I started seeking advice. There was this perception that it was an expensive venture and that is when I approached the National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK) for advice.”

“These are potato seedlings that are produced through tissue culture then planted to generate tubers and I came across them at KALRO Tigoni Research Centre. I immediately decided to take up the new method of producing seed potato before everybody gets into it. They gave me 250 cuttings when they saw my interest in the new technology.”

“I am propagating Shangi a local variety and I have to be licensed by KEPHIS and KALRO made the connection. They also didn’t charge me for the soil tests they conducted before I planted and they also gave me a lot of advice.”

“Right now, I am waiting to harvest from the 22 bags and I am expecting about 200 bags. The demand is so high as all the seeds have been booked although I am still on the registration process with KEPHIS as a certified seed producer.”

“I want the youth in Nyandarua to be the drivers of agriculture and that is why we agreed to take this to the youth in the whole county.”

“We formed Nyandarua Youth in Agri-business Forum to share information about all the youths engaged in agri-business in Nyandarua in order to motivate others.”

“We are around 20 and last month we held training about greenhouse farming at Ol-jororok Farmers Training Centre. We want to create a pool of experts in all fields like dairy farming, poultry farming and the rest who can then train the interested youth in the county.”

“I urge the youth to get into groups so that they can get support from various quarters. We are currently engaging with the county government of Nyandarua and so far the departments of youth and that of agriculture have responded positively.”

Gachiri says NPCK supported him and through them, he came to learn of another modern method of propagating potatoes called apical root cutting.

He says that he got a lot of support by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) who licenses seed producers after meeting the required conditions to ensure the material produced is disease free.

The youthful farmer says the first 250 cuttings gave him 2 bags of potato tubers each weighing 50 kilograms. He planted the tubers and harvested 22 bags.

He also convinced other youths from his Kariamu Village in Kipipiri to join him in the venture and they formed a group. The group with 12 members so far has also planted 2,150 apical cuttings. He says it was difficult to convince them to invest in the new technology but after they saw the interest my farm had generated, they agreed and from contributions, they leased a farm.

Gachiri urges the youth to get into farming pointing out that there are opportunities in mechanization and new technology to those who don’t want to soil their hands in the farm.