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

Kenya: Catholic youth drive climate action across Africa

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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”.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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Kenya: Youths Accessing Online Jobs Through Ajira Digital Program

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

Kenya: Retired civil servants should create space for youths

By The-star.co.ke (STACEY CHEPKEMOI)

The recruitment ban at entry level cadres in the civil service that was put in place by the Treasury has not only affected management succession but also created a backlog of unemployed youth who are graduating from colleges every year.

The suspension of recruitment has affected service delivery across government agencies. The Public Service Commission proposal to hire new civil servants and promote some in the next financial year is a step in the right direction. Treasury should lift the moratorium so that government and its agencies can create jobs and deliver services.

There are many civil servants who, for long, have stagnated in one job group for years. They could not be promoted because there is no budget. PSC is unable to retire some senior civil servants because of the skills they have and allowing them to leave without a replacement is a risk that should not be considered.

Therefore Parliament should proceed and allocate sufficient financial resources to this docket if indeed the MPs mean well to the millions of unemployed youth in Kenya.

However, if Parliament approves the PSC budget proposals, the same MPs should make sure that the recruitment process is transparent. It is not uncommon for nepotism to rare its ugly head in this type of situations.

We all know that the recruitment process in government is never transparent and largely depends on whom you know and not what you know. We want to see recruitment on merit and which adheres to PCS policies. This is the time to keep in mind affirmative action that ensures candidates from every corner of Kenya is gets a chance to serve his or her country.

The government should stop recycling employees in the public service, once somebody has reached retirement age, they should proceed on retirement so that the youth are given a chance to bring on board fresh ideas that can propel this country to greater heights.

Why should we have civil servants who after attaining the retirement age of 60 are appointed to plum government jobs only weeks later? If indeed the government is genuine in resolving youth unemployment, which we all agree, is a time bomb, why not give these positions to the youth?

In fact, all the Chief Administrative Secretaries positions that were created by the Jubilee government through PSC should have all be handed to the youth as part of mentorship so they can gain experience on how to run a government.

It is unfortunate they all went to politicians who have had their chance in public service.

The former Bomet county senatorial aspirant spoke to the Star