Empowering the youth is fundamental in enhancing their contribution to nation-building. The tough economic situations in Kenya continue to put the youth in vulnerability to anti-social behaviors like indulging in criminal activities that disrupt peace and harmony.
Honestly, it has not been easy for unemployed youths in the last two to three years who have to depend on their struggling families to put food on the table and sort out other basic needs.
The dilapidated economy cannot pull out of the mud if the energetic, innovative, and creative youthful population is left behind and is not empowered to bake the national cake. In particular, the youth population continues to bulge day in and day out and tertiary institutions are releasing fresh graduates into the economy yearly.
Unfortunately, the majority of these graduates don’t go back to their rural homes and prefer to stay in urban and suburban areas where job opportunities are easily available to those who have connections and or money to buy the job. Therefore, the rural economy has been experiencing a slow growth rate because rural places are seen as homes for senior citizens.
In day-to-day interaction with the youths, they have failed to conceptualize why they study for more than 16 years and are demanded to have many years of working experience by potential employers. The barriers hindering youths from uptake existing opportunities are many and need to be relooked at. The youths should be sensitized about Uwezo, Youth, biashara, and hustler funds to make good use of them.
Essentially, there lie opportunities for Kenya’s government to involve the youths in developing Medium-term plans that will prioritize the youth’s challenges in the recurring fiscal years. At the county level, collating the youth development agenda in the county-integrated development plan will go a long way in empowering the youths.
With the Jubilee administration focusing its resources on infrastructure development, the Kenya youths are overly hopeful with the Kenya Kwanza administration and would wish to see a paradigm shift in human development which should be reflected in policies and legislation and place the youth at the center of development.
The increased number of youth leaders in the County assemblies, Senate, and National assembly should have a coordinated way of pushing for the youth agenda in Kenya to address the youth challenges. Failure to prioritize the challenges bedeviling the youths, the dependency level will spiral upward and position the youth as a ticking bomb.