The initiative, dubbed the Kenya Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program. K-YEEAP is a project by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) that seeks to create at least 1 million jobs.
Speaking at the event, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua congratulated the business community for partnering with the government as it seeks to find solutions to the country’s youth unemployment problem.
“Today I am honoured to preside over the launch of the Kenya Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program. The youth remain central to our Government’s agenda to improve the lives of the millions of youth around the country,” said Deputy President Gachagua.
“As a Government, we will provide the necessary support to take the youth closer to their collective dream of a better future. This fund and the partnership with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance will go a long way towards giving the youth an equal chance at life.”
Youth unemployment in Kenya is estimated at 38.9% with an estimated 800,000 young people getting into the labour market every year from institutions of higher learning.
“Our economy has not matched the supply in generation of new jobs for our youth. Experts have warned us of the ‘youth time bomb’ occasioned by the jobless youth bulge,” the Deputy President said.
According to KEPSA, the Kenya Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program will leverage technology and digital transformation.
“This will enable our youth to be active participants in the ongoing global digital revolution,” said DP Rigathi Gachagua.
The DP also said that to ensure that Kenya remains an active participant in the ongoing digital revolution, the Kenya Kwanza Government is committed to creating a conducive environment for upcoming and established entrepreneurs.
“Partnerships between the Government and the private sector will be a key determinant in delivering jobs and opportunities to our youth. And the Kenya Kwanza government will provide a friendly environment to make sure this happens,” said the Deputy President.
He also hit out at the opposition and urged them to take up their constitutional obligation of providing a fair and honest critique of the government of the day.
“We want the opposition to play their role and provide constructive criticism to the government because we want to run an open and truthful government,” said DP Gachagua.
1 million jobs
The program is an innovative youth employment solution that seeks to use a market development approach to create 1 million jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for youth and women in the private sector in the next 5 years (2023 – 2027).
According to the Kenya Population and Housing Census Report, (2019), youth unemployment in the country stands at 38.9pc with about 5.3 million youth unable to secure decent jobs. It is projected that over nine million youth will be entering the labour market by the year 2030.
In this regard, K-YEEAP will work to accelerate and scale up small enterprises through financing, access to markets, business coaching and mentorship while increasing access to supply chain opportunities from large enterprises.
It will also support the digital transformation of small businesses, increase digital and digitally-enabled job opportunities for young people as well as public sector digital transformation for efficient service delivery and job creation.
Further K-YEEAP will increase relevant and market-oriented skills for industry transformation by working closely with the TVET ecosystem.The initiative also seeks to scale up 200,000 small enterprises, establish 47 County business hubs and accelerate 10,000 start-ups.
- Catalyse, accelerate and scale small enterprises through financing. Access to markets, business coaching and mentorship while increasing access to supply chain opportunities from large enterprises.
- Support digital transformation of small businesses. Increase digital and digitally-enabled jobs opportunities for young people. Public sector digital transformation for efficient service delivery and job creation.
- Increase relevant and market-oriented skills for industry transformation by working closely with the TVET ecosystem.