•He emphasises the need to promote local talent.
•He says youths are discouraged when there is no hope.
Lack of employment opportunities among the youth is a more serious security threat to the country than al Shabaab, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has said.
Sakaja spoke on Friday during the official launch of the National Employment Authority at Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi.
The authority, which was established in April 2016 by an act of Parliament, was officially launched by Labour CS Ukur Yattani on Friday.
Sakaja said it is a high time the government started having serious resource allocation towards the youth.
“We put billions in security thinking our threat is al Shabaab yet they are the unemployed youth. Our young people want to be defined by hope,” the senator said.
“The youth at the moment feel under siege. They finish school and decide to buy a boda boda, when they come to the city centre they get arrested."
He said the creation of a database of all unemployed youth will be the first step in helping in policy formulation and urged the government to ensure there is a question about career status in the forthcoming census.
The database has to be created because we can’t create jobs when we don’t have the data and information that will help in the streamlining, he said. THis will then be used to connect the employers and employees.
The senator also said everyone should start pushing for promotion of local talent to create jobs locally.
“Our young girls are suffering because they have been sent to slavery in other countries,” he noted.
The employment authority has been tasked with putting in place measures to protect Kenyans working in the diaspora from exploitation wherever they are.
With more than 40,000 Kenyan migrants working in the diaspora, personal accounts of girls still in captivity abroad are disquieting.
(Edited by R.Wamochie)