Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) in conjunction with the University of Nairobi, KASNEB, Youth Enterprise Development Fund(YEDF), the National Youth Council (NYC), Directorate of National Cohesion & Values and Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) held a mentorship programme from 4th-5th March 2021. The platform aimed to create awareness and build capacity among the youth in the realization of the national development goals. The two-day event engaged youth from universities all over Kenya through essay competitions, debates, presentations and opportunities to showcase their talents.


Youth are an  integral part  in achieving Kenya’s development goals and a key driver in the realization of the Big Four Agenda, Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) yet they are among the neglected groups. The youth in Kenya are the most underutilized when it comes to employment, they suffer from poor health, they lack the necessary job skills, some of them are illiterate/drop outs and they lack the social economic empowerment to fully participate in building the nation. There is also a group of Kenyan youth living on the streets and in informal settlement, living with HIV/AIDS, imprisoned and living with disabilities that require the social, economic and political empowerment to realize their full potential.

According to article 55 of the constitution of Kenya it is the mandate of the state to take the necessary measures including affirmative action programmes to ensure that the youth:

  • Are accorded opportunities to associate, be represented and participate fully in political, social and economic aspects of life
  • Access relevant education and training
  • Access employment
  • Are protected from harmful cultural practices and exploitation

These measures have been set up by the National Government in collaboration with County governments, the private sector and other Youth stakeholders to not only empower the youth but also the formal and informal sectors and institutions dealing with youth issues in rural and urban areas. The main areas of intervention include:

  • Health, nutrition and wellbeing through public school feeding programmes and initiatives in collaboration with the World Food Programme.
  • Eradicating drugs and substance dependency. The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) coordinating campaigns against alcohol and drug abuse in Kenya and has established clubs in secondary schools to encourage students’ participation in the fight.
  • Education, training and skills development through institutions like NYS and KIPPRA
  • Institutionalizing internship and apprenticeship opportunities. The Public Service Commission has been integral in ensuring the youth have access to internship opportunities in the public sector.
  • Addressing the problem of unemployment and inactivity through the National Employment Authority Act 2016 that provides a framework for employment management among the youth, minorities and marginalized.
  • Capacity building in technological aspects to integrate the youth in the country’s transformation.
  • Financing of youth programmes through the Ajira Digital Clubs which help to create awareness on the existence of online work and prepare the youth for the global future work and business environment.
  • Encouring the youth to participate in agricultural activities.
  • Promoting entrepreneurship, training, mentorship, internships and attachments. The Youth Enterprise and Development Fund, the Uwezo Fund and the Women Enterprise and Development Fund encourage self-employment opportunities (among women and the youth) through business strategies. The Access to Government Procurement Opportunities 2013 accords the youth the opportunity to conduct business with the government through the Public Procurement Process. 
  • Nurturing creativity, talent identification and innovative development.
  • Encouring positive morals and values, patriotism and volunteerism. The National Youth Service (NYS) offers vocational training and instills a sense of patriotism in the youth recruits.       
  • Ensuring civic participation and representation. Mentorship programmes e.g. KIPPRA mentorship that create awareness and thus encourage the youth to participate in the public policy making process.
  • Promoting a crime free, secure, peaceful and cohesive Country.
  • Engaging the youth in the development, protection, conservation of natural resources and environment while engaging in eco-entrepreneurship and green jobs.
  • Capacity building in green processes, technology and waste management.
  • Enhancing digital skills and leveraging young people’s natural affinity with technology.

The National Youth Council (NYC) is the overall authority in enhancing youth participation in social, political and economic prosperity. The NYC provides a platform for the youth to participate in governance and national affairs and ensures all its programmes are youth centered and driven.