NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – Fifteen Youth Empowerment Centers (YECs) were Friday opened in various counties across the country in line with government plans to establish capacity building centers in all the 290 constituencies in the country.
A statement from the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs said the fifteen new centres were set up in line with Vision 2030 that sets out Kenya’s path to a middle-income economy.
The centers which were commissioned by fifteen Principal Secretaries from various State departments will serve as resource facilities for youth enabling them to access ICT services, guidance and counseling on drugs and substance abuse, HIV/AIDS prevention among other services.
The centres were launched Nairobi, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Bomet, Nandi, West Pokot, Tharaka Nithi, Machakos, Kitui, Kilifi, Kakamega, Garissa, Mandera, and Homabay.
The Principal Secretaries held conversations with the youth from the respective regions in a bid to identify the immediate needs of the youth in the respective counties.
The centers are also equipped to provide leisure activities including indoor and outdoor and games.
“In order to make the YECs operational and beneficial to the youth the Ministry embarked on refurbishing 21 Centers in the last financial year 2018/2019,” said Public Service and Youth PS Francis Owino.
He noted that the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs has allocated funding to refurbish another 60 centers in the current Financial Year 2019/2020.
In 2018, the government rolled out a program to establish centers in over 100 constituencies.
Most of the centers remained largely unused and needed refurbishment to make them useful.
The launch of the new centers is among activities earmarked for the national youth week.
The ministry described the Friday launches as key to addressing social, economic and health issues affecting young people.
As part of measures towards empowering the youth, the government with the support of World Bank is implementing the Kenya Youth Empowerment Project which focuses on private sector internship, training, capacity building and policy development, aimed at improving youth employability.