Kenya’s national employment policy key to job creation

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

The policy which is awaiting parliament’s approval intends to subject major investments and projects undertaken in the country through an analysis to determine their potential for creation of employment.

According to a January 2013 report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 80 per cent of Kenya’s 2.3 million unemployed people are between the age of 15-34 years.

Research shows that there are about 500,000 youth being released into the job market annually with only a fraction getting jobs and this is due to the sluggish economic growth, corruption and other factors, a large percentage remains unemployed.

Speaking during the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Special Summit on the fight against youth unemployment, President Uhuru Kenyatta urged members of parliament to adopt the policy.

Kenyatta said his government is also prioritising infrastructure development in a bid to spur growth and job creation in all sectors of the economy.

“Infrastructure development, we can all agree, is key to employment creation and to ensuring access to the incomes and decent livelihoods to all our people especially our youth,” Kenyatta said.

The government allocated 141.25 billion Kenyan shillings towards infrastructure and road for the fiscal year 2014/2015.

During the country’s budgetary 2014/2015 address, Henry Rotich, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of the National Treasury said the government is committed on building on the continuous youth support initiatives to further encourage to be dynamic drivers of growth and employment creation.

“We are facilitating expansion of credit access so as to afford the financial capability to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities and scale up their small businesses. The Uwezo Fund, Youth Enterprise Development Fund and Women Enterprise Fund will be rationalized into an efficient and well capitalized Fund to sustain the ever growing demands of our youth and women,” Rotich said.

The government allocated 300 million Kenyan shillings to the Youth Enterprise Fund, 200 million Kenyan shillings for operations of the already established and 6 billion Kenyan shillings to the Uwezo Fund.

The youth enterprise development fund has already benefited over 20,000 youth initiatives and trained over 200,000 youth entrepreneurs.

According to Kenyatta the development fund has established linkages between the youth and mature people in industry sectors.

“This programme has been expanded, and is now supported by parallel projects that target the youth, women and persons living with disability, with a combined revolving capital of 15 Billion Kenyan shillings,” Kenyatta said.