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RURAL YOUTH

Development will come from the countryside

In Summary

• The Asian tigers first developed their rural areas which then served as a springboard for local manufacturers

• Kitui county is training youth in mango farming and horticulture to grow vegetables and chilli

Masila Mwaniki plants kales at a farm adjacent to the Tyaa River in Mwingi.
Masila Mwaniki plants kales at a farm adjacent to the Tyaa River in Mwingi.
Image: LINAH MUSANGI

Youths in Mwingi are returning to agriculture after failing to secure jobs. Kitui county government is training them in mango farming (see P 26). 

The youths are also growing vegetables and chillies. At the end of their training, they will get a certificate from JKUAT.

This great initiative should be mirrored all across the country and extended even further.

The South East Asian tigers developed initially through their governments providing infrastructure and facilities in rural areas. This slowed down urban migration and created markets for local manufacturers who then grew rapidly.

The main cities in Kenya cannot productively absorb the future population of  Kenya, which will reach 85 million in 2050. Jobs have to be created in rural areas, or in the trading centres that serve those rural areas.

The countryside needs to be electrified and receive high quality internet. Roads need to be properly paved or graded. And the youth need to be trained in jobs where they can make money - maybe as mango farmers but also as electricians, carpenters and mechanics serving the developing rural areas.

The future of Kenya lies in the countryside.

Quote of the day: “Action without thought is empty. Thought without action is blind."

Kwame Nkrumah 
He became the first
President of an independent Ghana on July 1, 1960