NAIROBI, Kenya, July 10 – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) has signed a grant with Generation Program Kenya Limited, a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative, to create 2,000 full-time jobs and provide over 100,000 hours in skills development for young people in the apparel industry.
Working hand-in-hand with Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and apparel companies, the pilot program will set up and equip seven training centers throughout Kenya and screen 4,000 youth for participation.
The pilot activities include recruitment, training and job placement in the apparel industry.
By the end of the program, the 2,000 trained Kenyan youth will help address the skills gap that currently hinders growth in the apparel sector in Kenya.
In addition, the goal of the pilot is to create a sustainable and replicable model for apparel sector skills development throughout East Africa.
“The program focuses on at-risk youth employment, skilled workforce development and economic expansion through global supply chain enhancement. It aligns well with the priorities of our new Administration by providing a business-enabled environment that supports both U.S. and African businesses and investors,” said USAID Kenya Acting Mission Director Tina Dooley-Jones.
The signing of this grant is also the official kick-off of the Hub’s larger “East Africa Cotton, Textile and Apparel Workforce Development Initiative,” a collaborative effort with the private sector based on a partnership agreement between the Hub and the American Apparel and Footwear Association.
The partnership ensures U.S. brands and retailers’ goods are manufactured in accordance with best business practices and operations in East Africa, producing a win-win for trading partners.
East Africa is establishing itself as a key-sourcing destination for buyers of global apparel, footwear and travel goods.
Recently renewed to 2025, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a major incentive which provides up to 35 percent in duty savings for eligible countries exporting to the U.S.