, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 20- Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru has raised concerns over the low uptake of government funds set for youths.
Waiguru specifically says the uptake of the Sh200 billion government procurement services set aside for the youth is still low but noted that it’s set to improve this financial year.
“The government has deliberately created enhanced Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) as part of the broader affirmative action policy to create opportunities for vulnerable groups,” she said.
“This is a huge boost to the youth considering government is the single largest consumer of goods and services. It has now dedicated a minimum of 30 percent of all its procurement to enterprises owned by the youth, women and persons with disabilities. This has been formalised through the Public Procurement and Disposal Regulations of 2013.”
Addressing the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Special Youth Summit in Nairobi, Waiguru said the government will enhance youth enterprises capacity in a bid to create more job opportunities.
“Further, the government is taking various key measures to address specific employment needs of young people. The measures will build skill capacities of young people parallel to providing actual employment opportunities for them,” she pointed out.
“The Government of Kenya has adopted employment creation as a major policy agenda. The Vision 2030, which is the country’s development blueprint, contains programmes and policy reforms that will need to be implemented in order to enhance and increase opportunities for young people.”
To achieve this goal, she said the government through the relevant ministries, has developed the National Employment Policy.
The policy is currently awaiting Parliament’s approval.
Under this policy, all major investments and projects in the country will be subjected to systematic analysis to determine their employment creation potential before they are adopted for implementation.
“The government has urged Parliament to move with speed in discussing and adopting the Employment Policy into a Sessional Paper. Meanwhile, all State departments are conducting analysis to determine the number of jobs they can create for the youth,” she revealed.
The CS said that the government “is also carrying out elaborate youth training and internship programmes key of which is the Kenya Youth Empowerment Programme executed in partnership with private sector players who are coordinated by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance.”
“The program addresses lack of skills and work experience among the youth, and provides opportunities for skills training and mentorship through internships. So far over 13,000 young people have undergone skills training, with 5,000 undergoing actual internship in various sectors of the economy.”