The statistics tell the story

By Michael Njoroge

The youth make up to 70% of the country’s population. 64% of the youth are unemployed. National Population living Rural is 78%

Data from a recent World Bank report shows that more than 800,000 people get into the job market each year in Kenya. The huge jobless market competes against 50,000 employment positions in formal employment. 844,475 candidates sat for KCPE in 2013. In the same year 446,696 sat for KCSE. Out of these, only 70% get an opportunity to join secondary school while out of those who graduate from secondary school 40% never join post secondary colleges. These statistics just proves the worst scenario where the country is faced with massive unemployment and lack of specific skills to engage in gainful employment.

In fact, research in developing countries especially Africa has reported youth unemployment as a “Ticking time Bomb” ready to explode. As a result of frustration and idleness, the youth has been vulnerable to substance abuse, crime and the worst radicalization to terrorism. This is a proposal of a young man interviewed by Aljazeera about youth unemployment in Kenya. He said

“Bring us facilities,”. “Bring us the resources. Bring us tools to work on. Bring us hope. Give us something that we can believe in. Start as a foundation. We can create our own things if we only have a foundation to start on. Surely the government can do that.”

Although I totally agree that the government has to do more in combating youth unemployment problem, I also believe that private entities and non-governmental organizations have a role to play in solving this menace.  Programmes could be initiated to revise the curriculum, promote agriculture and manufacturing sector through specific skills training.

Despite many existing opportunities in rural areas for agriculture and agribusiness most youths join the massive urban job seekers escalating the problem. However, if the right skills and attitude was adapted to agriculture through adoption of modern technology, the youth would be motivated to become successful agripreneurs.

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