• The centres will serve as avenues for acquisition of digital skills and promotion of talent.
• Kenya is the seventh largest funder of education in the world, relative to GDP.
Nineteen talent centres have been rehabilitated to provide ICT services, guidance and counselling on drugs and substance abuse to young people.
The centres in 15 counties will also provide HIV/Aids prevention services. They are equipped for indoor and outdoor activities and games.
"The centres will serve as avenues for acquisition of digital skills and promotion of talent, as well as routes for accessing information," President Uhuru Kenyatta told the International Youth Day in Kwale on Monday.
The President, in a speech read by ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, said the youth empowerment centres are in Nairobi, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Bomet, Nandi, West Pokot, Tharaka Nithi, Machakos, Kitui, Kilifi, Kakamega, Garissa, Mandera and Homa Bay.
He said the government will put up such centres in all sub-counties.
Uhuru, who is out of the country, praised Kenya's education system. He said the country is the 7th largest funder of education in the world, relative to GDP. It invests Sh300 billion annually in the sector.
"We are investing in the development of digital skills in the youth to meet the competencies and expertise required for the digital economy," he said.
Separately, Youth Principal Secretary Francis Owino said the government had by 2012 established 152 centres in over 100 constituencies.
However, they remained largely unused and needed refurbishment to make them useful to the youth.
Youth centres are a Vision 2030 flagship project under the social pillar.
“Broadly, the YECs provide safe spaces to address social, economic and health needs, including psychological concerns, prevalent among the youth,” Owino said in a press statement.
Public Service, Youth and Gender CS Margaret Kobia said 60 more talent centres will be rehabilitated this financial year.
"We promised to create more safe spaces for youth to participate in sports and other leisure activities, and access information and ICT services in the community," Kobia said.
She said the ministry has also created more opportunities for paid internships to university and college graduates. "I am delighted to report that last week, the Public Service Commission advertised for 3,200 internships."
The CS said the Cabinet has approved the new Kenya Youth Development Policy which gives priority to eight areas on which efforts and resources meant for the youth will be focused in the next five years.
"These areas comprise a set of interventions that will help Kenya realise a youth population that is empowered, healthy, safe, competent, earning decent livelihoods," she said.
The Kwale celebrations marked the end of the National Youth Week, whose activities began last week at the University of Embu.
"We have had the opportunity to showcase the great strides that the youth of this country have made in improving their livelihoods," Kobia said.