SEEKING SOLUTIONS

Youth unemployment a ticking time bomb, lobby warns

Says out of every 10 unemployed Kenyans, seven are young people aged 35 and below

In Summary

• Obonyo emphasised on the need to urgently develop solutions to the youth unemployment crisis.

• During the forum, diverse and often unrepresented voices led and shaped discussions to develop solutions addressing unemployment.

The director and co-founder of The Youth Congress Raphael Obonyo
The director and co-founder of The Youth Congress Raphael Obonyo
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

The youth, who form about 80 per cent of the population, are the worst hit by unemployment, the director and co-founder of The Youth Congress Raphael Obonyo has said.

The Youth Congress is an NGO that provides a platform for young people to articulate their issues.

“This is a persistent problem. We need to act now if we are going to realise the significant opportunities for the young people today,” Obonyo said.

Out of every 10 unemployed Kenyans, seven are young people aged 35 and below, he said.  

Obonyo emphasised on the need to urgently develop solutions to the youth unemployment crisis.

On Saturday, youth entrepreneurs, policymakers, the private sector and development partners convened at Marble Arch hotel in Nairobi to reflect on solutions.

The Secretary of Youth Affairs at State Department for Youth, Raymond Ochieng, said there is a need for collaboration among different actors to counter youth unemployment.

“The youth unemployment problem is a complex multi-layered issue and new and strengthened partnerships are needed," he said

"The government, private sector, development partners and civil society need to work together to create solutions that are sustainable and effective."

Kenya’s private sector, he said, is positioned as a critical agent for change in youth unemployment.

According to Kenya Private Sector Alliance, at least one million youths enter the job market yearly but they are not been able to get opportunities.

Stakeholders urged the private sector, which provides around 90 per cent of employment for both formal and informal jobs, to support interventions that will address the problem.

During the forum, diverse and often unrepresented voices led and shaped discussions to develop solutions addressing unemployment.

Young entrepreneurs shared their experiences, highlighting how they have remained resilient even as they go through challenges.

They also spoke on the importance of creating opportunities for the youth especially those in the informal settlements.

Kenya Community Development Foundation shared experiences from the work they have done to create social impact.

KCDF renewed its commitment to create solutions ranging from providing opportunities, linkages and funding to supporting youth livelihoods.

The Youth Congress, in partnership with KCDF, has been providing grants, equipment, tools and skills to youth groups in the informal settlement.

The joint project assists the youth to run businesses, generate income and create jobs. 

The forum was a strong start to a journey of applying entrepreneurship solutions to addressing the unemployment problem in Kenya.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

Youth entrepreneurs, policy makers, private sector and development partners during a meeting at Marble Arch in Nairobi on Saturday
Youth entrepreneurs, policy makers, private sector and development partners during a meeting at Marble Arch in Nairobi on Saturday
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI
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