GILGIL, Kenya, Feb 26 – The Government is soon to launch a Sh15 billion youth employment marshal plan to support youth owned businesses through Government tenders and contracts.,
President Mwai Kibaki said the youth will be empowered to supply 10 percent of the value of goods and services procured by Government.
“The marshal plan will also lead to the creation of up to 500,000 new jobs annually for the next four years,” he said.
He pointed out that the marshal plan, which the Government has already developed, recognizes that the long-term solution to unemployment lies in equipping the youth with modern, market-driven technical and vocational skills.
“We are, therefore, implementing measures to strengthen Youth Polytechnics across the country,” the Head of State said.
President Kibaki said under the envisaged marshal plan, the Government will give annual grants to subsidize the tuition fees in youth polytechnics in order to make training affordable to many more young Kenyans.
The Head of State was speaking at the National Youth Service Training College in Gilgil where he presided over the passing out parade for 4,500 National Youth Service recruits.
He said over the next four years, the Government will elevate one youth polytechnic in each constituency to model status capable of training in excess of 200 students at a time.
“This move will see the youth polytechnic student population increase from the present 50,000 to close to 300,000 by 2012,” President Kibaki said.
The President said the marshal plan will also see an increased investment in the Youth Enterprise Fund which has already created 200,000 new jobs, especially in the areas of business training and provision of business development services.
Said the President: “Other measures that will be taken under the youth marshal plan will be the provision of training and funding to young people to enable them start digital villages in every constituency as well as venture into other I.C.T. related businesses.”
He said the marshal plan will also see the promotion of labour- intensive methods and technologies in the implementation of public works projects across the country to create employment for the youth.
To demonstrate its commitment, President Kibaki said the Government will unveil the ‘Kazi Kwa Vijana’ programme and allocate substantial resources to the programme in the coming Financial Year towards.
“The programme to be implemented between March and August this year is a six-month programme aimed at empowering young Kenyans to be gainfully employed,” President Kibaki.
The President observed that the ‘Kazi Kwa Vijana’ programme will be implemented by the Government as a means of giving a further boost to youth employment and economic development.
He directed the Ministry of Finance to avail adequate funds to ensure success of the programme, saying it will go a long way in empowering the youth and their families.
In this regard, President Kibaki appealed to the youth to fully embrace the programmes, be disciplined, hard working and responsible so build a peaceful and prosperous country that Kenyans deserve.