Youth in Kenya: The youth are defined as people in the age bracket of 15 to 30. In Kenya, they are about 9.1 million, and account for 32 per cent of the population. Of these, 51.7 per cent are female.
The youth form 60 per cent of the labour force. Since independence, the Government of Kenya has taken a keen interest in the development of the youth. This can be seen in the expansion of education from the lowest level all the way to the top. ln 1964, the Government started the National Youth Service and has supported it to date.
But it was the tenure of President Kibaki that huge leaps have been made. Government has taken a keen interest in youth issues. In 2006, the Ministry of Youth Affairs was established and the Youth Fund, from which the youth burrow money to start businesses, set up.
Here is a comprehensive guide to youth groups and youth activities in Kenya plus all the information they need to make the right decisions.
Youth and entrepreneurship in Kenya
Entrepreneurship training in Kenya targets youth out of school to empower them to become better partners and catalysts of the development process.
The training also enhances their contribution and influence in the economy by increasing their ownership of the means and factors of production and income generation activities through provision of technical support and enhancing youth business, entrepreneurial skills and fostering entrepreneurial culture.
It also stimulates and motivates the young people to spur their inventiveness and creativity as well as provide opportunities to the young people across the country to share experiences and initiate and strengthen a National Youth Entrepreneurship.
Opening of market outlets and networks helps to promote marketability of products and services and networking among youth.
Youth volunteerism programme in Kenya
The National Youth Volunteer Scheme is a deliberate effort of involving the youth of Kenya in community development through volunteerism and community service.
It is aimed at building skills and knowledge to enable young people make a positive contribution to their communities and strengthening the already existing youth initiatives. In the process the youth gain experience necessary for job placement.
Youth exchange programme in Kenya
The government of Kenya has been conducting youth exchange programmes to create interaction forums for youth from different communities and build structures of cultural harmonisation.
Youth exchange experiences and appreciate each other, building strong bonds of friendships. They have also been able to overcome negative ethnicity, mistrust, cultural prejudice, stereotypes, among others.
This programme is indeed a sure way to build bridges across communities by teaching the youth the importance of cohesion and peace amongst themselves, regardless of their different ethnic backgrounds
Youth and ICT in Kenya
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The government of Kenya, in collaboration with other stakeholders, has initiated community learning and information centers for the youth and the community to improve their knowledge and use of information communication and technology.
Internships and attachments To enhance the entry point for youth in employment, the ministry offers internships and attachments to promote acquisition of practical skills and work experience to skilled youth.
Youth health, crime and drugs To address youth health, crime and drug issues, the department sensitizes youth on reproductive health and sexuality and dangers of getting involved in crime, drugs and substance abuse.
In the 2010/ 11 ﬁnancial year, 11,301 youth attended seminars, workshops and symposiums on the dangers engaging in crime, drugs and substance abuse, and another 10,556 on responsible sexual behaviour.
Participation and inclusiveness The National Youth Council Act has been enacted and is ir1 the process of being operationalised. Elections for the National Youth Council which were at various levels were stopped by a court injunction in Nairobi and Nakuru.
Youth employment in Kenya
The government of Kenya has mobilised the youth to take part in environmental conservation by engaging the youth in planting one billion trees, clean up campaigns, biodiversity conservation and agro-forestry.
Dubbed “Trees for Jobs” (Miti kwa Ajira), the programme was initiated long before the Kazi Kwa Vijana (KKV) initiative launched on March 12, 2009. The Ministry has continued to implement the Miti kwa Ajira to create job opportunities for youth as well as involve them in the conservation of the environment by increasing the country’s forest cover.
The programme also aims at creating a positive attitude towards work among the youth; contributing to food security through planting of fruit trees; help the youth see themselves as stakeholders in the management of the environment; and involve the youth in planting their future.
Since inception, the department has disbursed Kshs1.2 billion ($14.2 million) and engaged 300,000 youth in short-term jobs. To date, 8,023,178 trees have been planted across the 210 constituencies.
Youth empowerment centers in Kenya
These are one-stop shops to be set up in every constituency for youth to access information on issues affecting them. The purpose of the centers is to creatively engage the youth to tap their talents and creating productive opportunities for them.
A total of 108 youth empowerment centers have been completed and a further 21 will be ready soon. Twenty three of the completed centers are equipped and operational, while 54 were earmarked for equipping in the 2011/ 12 financial year
Youth Development in Kenya
The Department of Youth Development in Kenya, created in 2007, seeks to ensure inclusion of the youth agenda in all sectors of the economy and their participation under the Social Pillar of Vision 2030.
The department’s activities include design and support of youth oriented programmes and projects; facilitate youth owned enterprises; promote networking and collaboration among youth organizations and research on youth development.