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.

Deputy Youth Minister of Sierra Leone Strengthens Bilateral Ties With Kenya

Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, Hon. Lusine Kallon, has in line with President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction vision strengthened the bilateral ties between Sierra Leone and Kenya in preparedness of the review of the National Youth Service (NYS) Act of 2016.

Minister Kallon who returned over the weekend from Kenya on a study tour travelled with the main opposition Member of Parliament, Hon. Abdul Kargbo-Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Youth Affairs, NYS Board Chairman Sahr Nyaama and the NYS Deputy Executive Director Onanah Jalloh.

The NYS study tour to Kenya and Ghana is to inform the review of the 2016 NYS Act, as proclaimed by President Bio during his inaugural speech at the official State Opening of the Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone.

Addressing corps members, staff of Kenyan NYS and state officials in Nairobi, Minister Kallon said, “I feel honored to be here and to be a beneficiary of your good hospitality. I have heard so much of your beautiful country and how nice the people are, so when the opportunity for the study tour came, I had no option but to grab it at once.”

He went on to say that, “we are here to get the Kenyan experience. An experience that has made Kenya the hub for youth development and entrepreneurship. Let me commend you for this giant move. An impressive move that has placed you in in a very good position to have a productive youths in the Continent in terms of technology and innovation.”

As the Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs of Sierra Leone, he continued, “I am here with my delegation to learn from the best practices of the Kenya National Youth Service. Our own National Youth Service is still in its developing stage and currently faced with a lot of challenges just like your own National Youth Service when it was first established in 1964.”

The Deputy Youth Minister informed his audience that the idea of the National Youth Service in Sierra Leone was first nurtured in 1961 by our first Prime Minister, Sir Milton Margai.

He noted that fifty years down the line, the late Prime Minister’s idea was legislated in April 2016.

He said the actual implementation only started in 2018 when his government under the leadership of His Excellency Rtd. Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio, decided to kick-start the dream of our forefathers into a visible reality.

The Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs-Hon. Rachel Shebesh said they are ready to support the NYS in Sierra Leone as a way on strengthening the bilateral relationship. She said they started the Kenyan NYS amidst challenges but today they have a lot of success stories Sierra Leone will learn from.

The APC Member of Parliament, Hon. Abdul Kargbo, assured that they will support the process and ensure that he lobbies around colleague MPs to support the review to stand the test of time.

He commended the Kenyan government for the reception and hospitality during their one week stay in the country.

Source Concord

500,000 Kenyan Youths in Debt Due to Gambling

By Joseph Muraya

Some 500,000 Kenyan youths have been blacklisted by various lending firms after they borrowed money, a majority with the aim of engaging in betting but defaulted.

This was revealed in a highly charged meeting between gambling and betting stakeholders and interior cabinet Secretary who released shocking statistics, revealing that 76 per cent of Kenyans aged below 35 years are in some form of betting.

The statistics have put Kenya on top of all African countries in the category of young people engaged in gaming and betting.

“The betting, licensing and control regime in our country must change,” the CS asserted. “We are going to turn it inside out.”

Ironically, the CS pointed out, majority of those involved in betting are from poor backgrounds.

Of the 76 per cent, the CS said more than 50 per cent are from poor backgrounds.

“What are we raising our children to become?” he rhetorically posed.

“Are we telling them to just do nothing with their lives, go around betting and become millionaires?”

It is with this reality that the government has formed a bill proposing radical changes in the sector that has been accused of promoting money laundering, evading tax while engaging in shadowy corporate social responsibilities projects meant to hoodwink authorities.

Among the expected changes is a review of the advertising regime.

“We are prepared to face whatever consequences there may be to ensure this sector is regulated effectively,” he said.

He noted that some of the suicide cases recorded in the country have been linked to gambling.

Mid last year, the CS led a countrywide operation that saw thousands of gambling machines destroyed, an exercise that was challenged in court.

Source Capital News

Kenya: Create local jobs for youth

In Summary

  • A new survey indicates that at least one in every three Kenyan youth wishes to go abroad to find a better job, escape poverty or get an education.

Some of the most heart-rending images of youth desperation in Africa are those of the dead asylum seekers in Mediterranean shipwrecks.

Also horrifying are videos of immigrants held in dehumanising conditions, especially in Libya, as they attempt to cross over to Europe.

Some have been battered and killed in attacks reminiscent of the Slave Trade atrocities.

Majority of the victims are from west Africa, where hordes of unemployed youth can only see hope overseas. Many have perished at sea, and yet the racket continues.

Last year, nearly 2,200 people lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean. Some 4,200 immigrants crossed to Europe in the first 16 days of this year but, obviously, found no paradise.

For those who remain in Europe, life will not be much easier than at home.

BETTER LIFE

But East, Central and Southern Africa are also grappling with the problem of young restless people, who believe that their destiny lies beyond their borders.

Kenyan, Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities often intercept trucks clandestinely shipping youth in transit to South Africa and beyond.

A new survey indicates that at least one in every three Kenyan youth wishes to go abroad to find a better job, escape poverty or get an education.

The study, also conducted in 33 other African countries by Pan-African research network AfroBarometer, reveals that 35 per cent of Kenyan youth have considered going abroad.

But it, interestingly, found that the most popular destinations among potential migrants is neither Europe nor North America, but another African country.

That means the countries doing better economically will attract youth from their poorer neighbours.

The solution to the desire to emigrate is to create opportunities locally for youth. It is a common problem that calls for greater regional co-operation to boost development.

Source Daily Nation

Kenya: Be more practical on youth unemployment

In Summary

  • We need to create more awareness about initiatives such as the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, which is available to youth in the creative or performing arts.
  • The qualification for such a fund should however be eased to encourage more people to join, hence increase loan uptake and reduce unemployment.

By LISA MUGUNDA

The high unemployment rate among the youth continues to evoke heated debate and concern among Kenyans.

Much money is spent on education only for graduates to join the dreaded search for jobs known as ‘tarmacking’.

According to the 2018 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) economic survey, the budget for the education sector was set to rise by 31.6 per cent to Sh415.3 billion in the 2017/2018 financial year, from Sh315.6 billion in the previous one.

Ensuring graduates and other school leavers get jobs or self-employment and become economically productive would be a big step towards getting value for this figure.

But with every passing day, a dark cloud hangs over the youth’s employment prospects.

CRIME

According to the KNBS survey, seven million Kenyans, 70 per cent of them youths, are jobless.

We have to declare the obvious: Jobs are few, close to non-existent; and we need to find a solution to the menace.

Graduates enter the job market with the hope of getting formal employment. But what they don’t know is that only one out of five of their lot stands a chance.

This means majority of them have to find alternative ways of earning an income.

The resulting frustrations often expose the youth to temptation to engage in crime, a situation that must be stifled.

ELECTION

Conversely, those lucky enough to get employed find themselves struggling with a mismatch of job requirements and their skills. Many lack the relevant knowledge and skills.

Youth unemployment ranks high every election cycle but the job creation promises end up as a cock-and-bull story and a violation of public trust.

We now need to devise other ways of job creation and self-development. To expect the government to provide the jobs is like waiting for another of the biblical Red Sea parting.

But we can hold it to account and know the structures put in place to support the youth. Most of them have not borne fruit, and if they have move at a snail’s pace.

The government should however be commended for giving tax waivers to companies that employ interns, as this enables the youth to acquire the necessary skills. But a lot more still needs to be done.

TALENT

We need to create more awareness about initiatives such as the Women Enterprise Fund, Uwezo Fund and Youth Enterprise Development Fund and its offshoot, Talanta Loan, which is available to youth in the creative or performing arts.

Many youth should be brought on board in order to benefit from the initiatives.

Many of them have hands-on talents and creative skills in fields such as the arts, craft, carpentry, cooking and mechanical work, which, if tapped, can be economically rewarding to them.

What the youth lack are opportunities, which can be created through the use of these funds. This will encourage entrepreneurship and innovation and generate employment slots.

The qualification for such funds should however be eased to encourage more people to join, hence increase loan uptake and reduce unemployment.

The youth should be encouraged to fully exploit and perfect their skills and talents as a first towards formal or self-employment.

It’s what they are facilitated to do with their hands that will eventually unlock doors to economic liberty for them.

Source Daily Nation

Kenya: County Mulls Enterprise Fund For Youth

By Veronica Bosibori

Nakuru County is mulling over a bill on enterprise fund to enable the youth to access loans at three per cent interest rate in order to control the bulging unemployment situation in the area.

The County Executive for youth, gender and sports, Dr. Peter Ketienye, said the county plans to open cultural centers in all the eleven sub-counties and popularize drama.

He said the increased numbers of idle youth were a danger to the economic development of the county because their potential was not being utilized and there is a possibility of them turning into criminal activities.

He promised to expand and modernize Nakuru Player’s Theater because it has a capacity of making revenue for the county and youths who are talented in drama.

MCA for Flamingo Ward, Eddy Kiragu, said the cultural committee which he heads had noted prospects of employment creation through drama, skits and fashion shows.

Kiragu added that just like music, drama should be taught in colleges so as to improve in film making and increase tourist attraction.

Source KNA

Skill-based training necessary to curb shortage of employable youth in Kenya

By Ramakrishnan Hariharan

The shortage of skilled workers in the informal sector is a growing concern for a country such as Kenya, with 77 per cent of her workforce employed in the informal sector.
It may have come as a shock to many when it was reported that a skilled welder for the SGR project could not be found.
At least half a million youth graduate from Kenyan universities annually and a majority of these do not make it to the job market owing to a lack of the skills needed for meaningful employment.

At the same time, according to a study by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, over 86 percent of Kenyan youth aged between 15 and 24 years believe that the education is the ultimate path to a successful life. Slightly below 25 per cent of the respondents cited a lack of quality education as their main challenge in life.

Only 21 percent of the respondents confessed to have college or university education, many of them for financial or other reasons, not because they lack the capability.

With such a huge demographic divide, the question remains: how can we leverage resources to fill existing gaps in the market? Kenyan youth play an integral role in our economy’s growth and can do even more.

Yet, in practice, many youths face an uphill task to participate meaningfully in a way that not only changes their lives but also has an impact on the economy.

Unlike other developing regions, sub-Saharan Africa’s population is becoming more youthful, and there has been a clear need to invest in Africa’s youth as Africa has the most youthful population and is the fastest growing region in the world.

According to a report by UNDP, by 2055 the continent’s youth population (aged 15 – 24) is expected to be more than 452 million.
In response, there has been a strong focus on technological skills that can prepare young adults for future careers that involve augmented intelligence. At the same time, there is still a need to address the existing lack of basic skills.

Source Stardard Digital

Why one in three Kenyan youths wants to go abroad

BY EDWIN OKOTH

More than one in every three Kenyan youths would leave the country to find a better job abroad, escape poverty or pursue an education if given a chance, a new survey has found.

The study conducted by a pan-African research network, AfroBarometer, reveals that at least 35 percent of Kenyan youth have at some point considered leaving the country to live abroad.

The research released yesterday was conducted in 33 other African countries.

“The most popular destination among potential emigrants is neither Europe nor North America, but another African country. This suggests that if you have a country near you that is thriving economically then you better move there so Europe should now start considering how to boost Africa’s economic growth because clearly they may not have a lot of desire to go to Europe,” Afrobarometer Executive Director Gyimah Boadi said.

Kenya was ranked 20th among the countries comprising youths who have high desire to migrate from Africa, behind its neighbours Uganda and Sudan where more people wanted to leave and stay abroad.

Cape Verde, where only 42 percent of the citizens want to stay, had lowest score, followed by Sierra Leone where 59 percent want to migrate and Gambia where 56 percent have thought about migrating. Togo and Sao Tome complete the five worst performers with 54 percent of residents in both countries angling to leave for a better life abroad.

Mauritius had the best record, according to the survey.

A 2017 World Bank survey found Kenya had the highest rate of youth unemployment in East Africa, with 17 percent of all young people eligible for work lacking jobs. Neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda had comparable rates of 5.5 and 6.8 percent respectively.

Mr Boadi said that contrary to popular belief that most Africans would like to move out of the continent, intra-continental migration is a fast-growing phenomenon.

The survey found that young adults and highly-educated citizens are most likely to consider leaving Africa, pointing to a potential brain drain on the continent.

Potential emigrants are also more numerous among men (40 percent) and urban residents (44 percent) than among women (35 percent) and rural dwellers (32 percent).

At 65 percent of its population not considering migration, Kenya ranks better compared to Nigeria where 64 percent want to stay. In Tanzania though, only 14 percent want to leave, ranking among the least countries where people want to migrate from. Madagascar reported only 13 percent of potential emigrants.

Europe still remains a strong attraction for African emigrants compared to North America with the two regions attracting 27 and 22 percent of potential emigrants from Africa.

“Migration in most cases is not a bad idea since both the destination country and the country of origin stand to benefit. Africa receives close to $34 billion every year from their emigrants living abroad. We however need a fundamental change on how we approach employment and traditional forms of agriculture to make people comfortable at home,” said Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.

Source Business Daily Africa

Kenya: Youth Urged To Take Up Ranching Jobs To Avert Management Crisis

By Wagema Mwangi

Pursuance of glamorous white-collar jobs in cities by youth from Taita-Taveta County has left 28 ranches in area in a succession management crisis as the farms are currently being managed by aged kin.

The Taita-Taveta Ranchers Association Chairman, Bong’osa Mcharo said educated youths from the region had no interest in ranching matters and were more interested in pursuing employment opportunities and other jobs in cities and urban centers.

Mcharo pointed out that ranches had massive potential to employ thousands of youth through programs such as livestock keeping, feedlot management, wildlife conservation and lease agreements which brings in millions of shillings to the ranches annually.

“The youth have decided that ranching is not a glamorous sector to invest in. They would rather make peanuts in towns where they struggle to make a living rather than live in the bush and make millions,” he said.

Currently, 90 percent of members of ranch management boards are over 50 years old. This revelation has triggered apprehension about the future of ranches in the next twenty years.

“We are growing old yet the youth who are supposed to take over from us are busy chasing jobs in towns,” he said.

His concerns were shared by the Chairperson of Kabanga Ranching Company, Anderson Mombo who said his ranch was working on ways of wooing the youth to take up ranching as serious economic activity.

Taita-Taveta ranches occupy over 1.2 million acres of rangeland with most ranches reporting serious underutilization of its land and other natural resources. Currently, most ranches have turned into conservation to tap in the multi-billion tourism industry and shore up their revenues.

Mcharo said the ranches would also explore apprenticeship programs for the youth to demystify the notion that ranching is an occupation for the old people.

He added that ranching sector needed vibrancy and innovations which would bring more ideas into how the region can benefit from the ranching resource.

The Former Mwatate MP, Calist Mwatela said should the youth not be persuaded to take up management roles in ranching there will be a succession crisis.

He added that in the next 10-20 years, the current crop of ranch managers and directors will be old, thus need to induct the youth into ranch management issues.

“The number of youth in ranch management is negligible. They need to be encouraged to take up roles and lift the ranches into higher productivity,” Mwatela said.

Source KNA

Kenya: Youth Call For Involvement In County Affairs

By Veronica Bosibori

The youth have appealed to the county governments to grant them a chance to participate in policy formulations that affect their lives to enable them build capacity and develop sense of ownership.

The Nakuru county Youth leader, John Maina regretted that devolved units have continued to make decisions on their behalf without any meaningful consultation.

Speaking during a press conference in Nakuru town on Thursday, Maina said the current debate in the county whether they should spend some Sh.54 million on youth internship or entrepreneurship training, would have been avoided, if they had been involved from the very planning level.

Last week, the county government announced that they were going to recruit a number of youths as interns, but there was hue and cry over the increased spending on salaries, which has affected development programs. The county has a huge wage bill, which is often blamed on over employment.

Maina urged the county to advertise for the internships posts and have an independent panel to avoid favoritism and nepotism during the selection process.

However, some youth have argued that spending so much money for only six months of internship, might not assist them in the long run.

He said when youths are engaged from earlier stages of governance, they become active community members who are more likely to be engaged in the democratic process of their country.

Noting that the county has a high population of youth, mainly involved in hawking and other menial jobs despite having college education, the youth leader appealed to the county government to reconsider channeling the internship money to training in agri-business, since there were more opportunities in the sector due to availability of land, thus promoting food security agenda.

Source KNA