…Champion of the #RebrandingSlumsOfAfrica Mission – WE CAN DO IT.

When leaders sat down in 2002 to craft amongst many other documents the Youth Employment Network – Alexandria Declaration of 6Es more solutions were to follow and resolutions of the General Assembly years later brought forth the Opportunity Fund for youth development now in its third tranche.

The whole idea of youth empowerment and employment must revolve around necessity and reality. Funding and Financing of youth led initiatives has come of age. Initiatives by young people are no longer for social impact alone but economic empowerment and sustainability.

So what is the relationship between hooliganism, stereotyping and violence vis a vis innovation, creativity and principle as relates to young people? Is it solely a matter of unemployment or lack of a meaningful engagement? Why would the increase of indiscipline rise in schools both lower and in institutions of higher learning – culture maybe. For Kenya your guess is as good as mine. Nepotism and prejudice rule every aspect of livelihoods.

It took almost 40 years to pass labour laws that are inclusive and considerate of minimum wages for employees, our recruitment ethics were thrown to the dogs and money exchanges hands rapidly than papers could be signed. On paper jobs are created but how many are sustained or worth the effort. Our schools churn 250,000 secondary school graduates into the job market each year less than 25% will be absorbed into public universities and hence justification of the increase of private institutions  and tertiary level colleges all over the country. Jobs are created more in the informal than formal sector, however these are not sustainable and fully reliable as times change and situations become less stable.

Distinction between academics and socio economics is a thin line – it’s a struggle to survive both for students and Institutions in a backdrop of hard economic times. Employability then is elusive as many are compromised and not with relevant expertise. To survive employment today, many Kenyans have resulted to 2 or 3 degrees or even diverse fields of study just to secure a great job. The value addition that comes with education also must not skip the inculcation of etiquette and ethics to instill a culture of self worth and value to the new generation of youth burn dormitories or stone cars because a lecturer won’t be transferred or a colleague has a running stomach due to food eaten at the university canteen.

Economic drivers like energy, infrastructure and political goodwill cannot be underrated. Employment must be seen to increase hope, sustain livelihood and improve expertise of an individual. In addition it must be easy to come by and allow flexible transfer. All factors that allow more generation of revenue and makes it easier for investors to do business locally must be pursued and fast. Training in both soft and technical skills must be up to par and an effort to make all employment sectors attractive for the general population made.

Issues of loans, advances, insurance, pensions and mortgages amongst other schemes must be well planned, executed and shared to be transferred from employer to employer. The behavior by youth then is more an outcome of many mixed conditions rather than just the absence of jobs. A collective responsibility should therefore be a resolve by all stakeholders from the family unit, educational centres, spiritual formation, institutions of higher learning to governments – both private and public partners. The political goodwill must also be felt and should serve as the peoples’ representation and not selfish pursuit for splendor. Youth are therefore a mechanism for manipulation subject to the above factors because of their naivety, numbers and lack of sound judgment as subjects of desperation. Work is cut out for the ILO, World Bank and UN as Global Development Arms.


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