Microsoft’s YouthSpark Programme aims to inspire Kenyan youth

CEO's youthspark
Kevin Muley, CEO at L’Oreal Patricia Ithau, CEO Seven Seas Technologies Michael Macharia, Cynthia Nyamai and Eric Wainaina

Youths selected from all over Nairobi have participated in a mentorship programme aimed at inspiring them to maximize their potential by taking advantage of opportunities around them. The daylong event themed ‘Spark for Change’ took the youths through various ICT, social and entrepreneurial skills and opportunities available for them in different sectors of the economy.


The event was  graced by CEOs in the country including Patricia Ithau, MD L’Oreal East Africa, Steven Othoro CEO Vision 21, Eric Wainaina CEO and Founder, The Rainmakers, Cynthia Nyamai CEO,Cynthia Nyamai Communications, Michael Macharia CEO Seven Seas Technologies and Kevin Mulei, CEO Mo-sound Entertainment.


Microsoft hopes to inspire the youth to take advantage of the available opportunities in the various sectors of the economy and build their careers around them. “The Vision 2030 blue print has numerous opportunities for the youth and I would like to challenge them to read this document carefully and identify which fields are fit for their talent and rebuild their lives around that,” said Louis Otieno, Director Corporate and Legal Affairs, Microsoft Africa Initiatives.


Speaking at the event Baraka Mweru, one of the youths who participated in the programme said: “I am very inspired by this programme as it helps me look at life differently. Today I got some good tips on how to be an entrepreneur from Michael Macharia and I am looking forward to being one successful entrepreneur in the near future.”

Louis with Martin
Microsoft Director for Legal and corporate affairs, Africa Initiatives Louis Otieno (R) and a technology blogger Martin Gicheru (R)

Eric Wainaina, who had a session with the youth on music and entrepreneurship, challenged them to take advantage of their talents and ‘make the best out of them.

“Music is a talent but if well managed, one can earn a lot from it. You have seen some of the world’s richest people musicians. This is because they have made use of their talent to earn a living. You too can achieve the same,” he added.


This Microsoft Youth Spark Mentorship programme is part of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative that was unveiled earlier this year to help the company actively engage in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness.


The global initiative, aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries in the next three years.


Through this multi-year initiative Microsoft hopes to empower young people interested in social innovation and social entrepreneurship to turn their ideas into reality by taking them through a set of training and activities. This company-wide initiative includes DigiGirlz, Imagine Cup and other company programs — both new and enhanced —that empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.



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