NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 17 – The Government has encouraged youth from 17 counties to take advantage of the Sh15 billion project meant to boost job opportunities under the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs.
Chief Administrative Secretary at the ministry Nadia Ahmed Abdalla said the government targets more than 50,000 youth under the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP).
Speaking at the Institute of Certified Studies, Nairobi, on Wednesday where she led a delegation of State Department for Youth officials in assessing the preparedness of KYEOP training providers to resume youth training which was stopped due to COVID-19 effects, Abdalla lauded the project for equipping youth with skills that they can use to land jobs, start their own businesses and employ other people.
“I’ve been on the ground and I have seen what KYEOP has done for young people,” she said.
“Lazima tukumbuke Kenya ni mimi na wewe” (we must always remember that Kenya is me and you), she said, adding “we should understand that there is a lot we can do with the opportunities we’ve been given”
During the event, the CAS also toured various exhibitions by KYEOP on Knitting, Fashion and Design and Artwork beneficiaries.
The fourth cycle of the Training and Internship was previously suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the last three weeks, Abdalla, Youth Principal Secretary Julius Korir and other ministry officials have been conducting Master Craftsmen and Formal Training Providers assessment to gauge their preparedness for the resumption of the project.
The team has traveled to Mombasa, Kitui, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kisii and other KYEOP participating Counties to ensure that they are ready to re-start the training while conforming to Ministry of Health COVID-19 safety measures.
The KYEOP project is a Sh15 billion project by the government-financed by the World Bank, with focus on youth aged between 18- 29 years of Form 4 level and below.
The five-year project seeks to improve youth employability, support job creation, improve labour market information and strengthen youth policy development.
The project is implemented in 17 counties that include: Mombasa, Kilifi, Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Mandera, Turkana, Wajir, Bungoma, Kakamega, Kisumu, Kisii, Machakos, Kitui and Migori Counties.
The selection of counties was done based on population density, poverty levels, rural-urban mix, demographics of the population, presence of implementing agencies, and opportunities for youth to access entrepreneurship and job opportunities.
So far, 32,124 youth have received training and internship in both the formal and informal sectors out of which 75 % have secured employment, according to a report from an independent research firm. A further 9,951 business support beneficiaries have received grants of Ksh. 40,000 each amounting to Ksh 329,000,000 while 4,204 youth have received Business Development Services.
Under the project, a Business Plan Competition dubbed MbeleNaBiz for high-potential job creators is currently ongoing. A total of 750 youth-owned enterprises will be financed through’ MbeleNaBiz ‘where 250 beneficiaries will each receive grants of Sh3.6 million. A further 500 beneficiaries will be awarded Sh900,000 each. This makes a total cost of Sh1.3 billion being the cumulative capital going to the youth as seed capital to support youth businesses in the entire country. A further 1500 youth are being trained in the preparation of business plans under Business Development Support programme.
The project is further implementing a special product, the FutureBora Innovation Challenge which is an initiative that will come up with high-impact interventions for creating economic opportunities for the “hard-to-serve” youth and funding them through business grants to the tune of Ksh 120,000,000. Both ‘MbeleNaBiz’ and ‘Future Bora’ cover eligible youth from all the 47 Counties.