•Lack of specific skills, requisite experience and zero access to capital are the main problem.
• We have a duty to build our nation and counties with the clear purpose of not only expanding economic opportunities but also effectively and efficiently delivering basic services to citizens, says Wairia.
Lack of skills to start businesses is to blame for youth unemployment in Kenya, Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wairia has said.
Wairia, the Council of Governors vice chairman, said joblessness was also caused by the lack of work experience and industry-specific skills, and led to vices such as crime, drugs and early pregnancies.
“In order to effectively confront this grim reality, our society must come up with fresh ideas and strategies to break the vicious cycle of endemic poverty,” the governor said.
“Devolution can only have the intended impact on the life of the ordinary mwananchi when leaders in devolved units develop people-centred policies and projects that speak to the widespread poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment in our society,” he said.
About 60 per cent of Kenya’s population is under 35 years and 500,000 youths graduate from tertiary institutions annually, but their absorption in the job market remains a challenge.
Wairia spoke on Friday during the passing out of ceremony for Kakamega county community area administrators and county youth service at Bukhungu Stadium, where he was the chief quest.
The County Youth Service and Women Empowerment Programme seeks to prepare young people for community service while inculcating discipline, strong ethical standards and integrity.
The programme also seeks develop skill among vulnerable groups including youths, women and people living with disabilities.
The skills imparted at the county polytechnics through sponsorship of the county government range from masonry, carpentry, motor-vehicle mechanics to hospitality.
Host governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Bungoma's Wycliffe Wangamati, Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala and Woman Representative Elsie Muhanda were present.
Wairia urged all governors to adopt the Vision 2030’s objective to transform Kenya into a newly-industrialising, middle-income country providing high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030.
“As policy makers, we have a duty to build our nation and counties with the clear purpose of not only expanding economic opportunities but also effectively and efficiently delivering basic services to citizens. This means that every shilling spent on education, health, infrastructure and other basic services must deliver commensurate value,” he said.