Sh1.8 billion initiative to empower rural youth
Noel Wandera @NoelWandera5
The government has launched a Sh1.8 billion rural youth employment programme in western Kenya through agriculture, in partnership with German Development Agency.
More than 10,000 youth in Bungoma, Kakamega, Siaya and Vihiga Counties will benefit from the programmes that are aimed at increasing youth participation in agriculture.
The projects will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and the German Technical Cooperation Agency Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbelt (GIZ) in the next five years.
“Today we launch two key programmes that are expected to transform more than 10,000 youth.
The first being the Rural Youth Employment in Western Kenya Initiative dubbed KilimoNiBiz as well as the Youth Employment In Agri-Food Sector in Western Kenya programme which will increase their employability through competency-based training, promotion of job placement services and strengthening the self-organisation of the rural youth,” said Agriculture chief administrative secretary Anne Nyaga.
Nyaga said the programmes would also look to support strategy and policy development as well as strengthening the dialogue and collaboration between the national and county governments as well as the private sector.
“The projects were agreed on during negotiations between Kenya and Germany in December 2018 with Germany issuing the Sh1.8 billion grants,” she said.
Through the region, the projects will serve as models and references for national development and possible upscaling in the future.
The projects also aim to improve the business environment and improve access to inputs, services and markets, strengthen the demand for labour, matching of labour demand and supply for employment promotion whereby qualified youth will be connected with enterprises sourcing for talents through internship programmes, career advisory and digital matching services.
Demographic analysis shows that more than two thirds of Kenya’s population is the youth. In 2019 the estimated youth unemployment rate in Kenya was at 18.34 per cent.