Every day, more and more young people enter the job market with optimism, energy and great aspirations ready to put their knowledge into practice. They soon encounter challenges and find themselves at a disadvantage as they are not all able to secure jobs that can support themselves and their families.
With the youth making the largest population in Kenya, it is imperative that they grow and achieve some sense of economic independence that comes with income so that they can contribute to the country’s developing economy.
The high rate of unemployment has not only spurred social tension but also affected the mental and emotional well-being of the youth. What saddens me the most is that majority of the youth are only looking to be employed. A very small fraction of them are willing to start businesses and become their own master.
There are so many reasons to justify unemployment in Kenya but we need to realise that jobs will only come when industries grow. Our cotton, leather and sugar industries were once booming but we are killing those industries and transferring jobs to other countries by living on imports.
We need to build our manufacturing industries, encourage and support the production of local goods. What right do you have to kill the opportunity of an industry that could employ you?
No matter how small a role you play, everyone’s contribution to building Kenya is very important. I would like to challenge the youth to analyse operations of current industries, look at the challenges faced by those that shut down and work together to revive industries.
Every time you buy something, ask yourself if you’re adding value to our economy. I am sure we all hope for a better Kenya but we will not get there if we do not commit to supporting our local industries and produce.
Let us all take responsibility to create industries and a thriving business environment that will empower communities, foster job and wealth creation and make us proud of our own produce.
To my dear Kenyan youth, remember that our leaders steer the nation but it’s up to you to build the nation you want. Now is the perfect time for you to take a more prominent role in shaping our economic trajectory.