The Star (Nairobi)

17 August 2012

Kenya: Youth Unemployment a Time Bomb

A report released by the African Development Bank says that 70 per cent of Kenyan youth are unemployed. The report warns that unless we come up with better national policies to address this question, the country is sitting on a ticking time bomb.

To address youth unemployment, the government has established the Youth Development Fund, the Kazi Kwa Vijana programme and other interventions which have proved to be woefully inadequate and hard to sustain.

Giving money to young people who are ill prepared and lack the knowhow to set up and run a business is a waste of time and resources. For this kind of interventions to succeed, we have to do a total overhaul of our education system which churns out people who will look for jobs instead of people who can create jobs.

We should shift our attention from merely rewarding academic brilliance to recognising and rewarding those with entrepreneurial skills. These are the young men and women who can start up the small and medium-scale enterprises which are at the centre of job creation. Unless this is done quickly, we can only start counting down to when the youth unemployment bomb stops ticking and explodes.

Quote of the day: "Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong." - US President Bill Clinton admitted having a relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky during a grand dury hearing on August 17, 1998.

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