The Star (Nairobi)

22 July 2014

Kenya: We Are Working On Creating Jobs for Youth, Says Waiguru

KENYA'S unemployment rate is 12.7 per cent, Devolution Secretary Anne Waiguru has said. She said a national employment policy to create more jobs for the youth is waiting for Parliament's approval.

Speaking when she officially opened the 8th Extraordinary Youth Summit on International Conference on Great Lakes Region in Nairobi yesterday, Waiguru said major investments will be subjected to scrutiny to establish their job creation potentials before given license.

"Under the policy, all major investments and projects in the country will be analysed to determine their potential to create employment before they are adopted," she said.

The five-day event will examine the status of youth employment and come up with inventive ways of addressing the issue. The member statesacx are Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, South Sudan, Sudan and Tanzania.

Waiguru said the number of Kenyans between the age of 18 and 35 has grown from 3.3 million in 1969 to about 16 million today. "A higher proportion of workers are found in the rural areas where employment opportunities are fewer, and access to information is low," she said.

"This has led to high rural to urban migration among young people, with resultant social and economic implications." The ICGLR executive secretary professor Ntumba Luaba said the biggest challenge facing the youth is unemployment.

"We must create avenues from which the youth can move away from joining militant groups and terrorist groups," he said. "I am sure at the end of this summit we will be saying a different story."

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