Due to rising number of businesses shutting down and some laying off staff, human rights activists have today gathered at the freedom corner Uhuru Park to protest against the current economic turmoil that businesses seem to be phasing.
Further, the activists are decrying unemployment amongst the youth fully blaming the government for failing to honor its promise of creating 1.3 million jobs on a yearly basis. The shutting down of businesses is a point of worry since that adds up to the number of unemployed Kenyans. The group will henceforth demonstrate every Wednesday until the government heeds their pleas and creates jobs for the Kenyan youth.
But economic analysts contend that failure to innovate and lack of adequate access to credit could be the reason behind the slow generation of new jobs. Every year, Kenyan universities churn out approximately 70,000 graduates into the job market.
However, only 15,000 graduates are absorbed. This is partly what led these human rights activists in conjunction with youth groups to hold a peaceful protest to raise concerns over the jobless state of the youth in Kenya.
Kenyans in the streets have equally expressed their concern with the growing level of joblessness in the country. According to the Kenya National Bureau Of Statistics, Kenya’s economy has been on a steady growth path with the country’s gross domestic product having grown by 6.3% in 2018 up from 4.9% in 2017.
Further to this, the economy created 846 thousand new jobs in 2018 up from 762 thousand jobs in the previous year. But the reality on the ground does not seem to reflect that growth as Kenyans continue to face job losses and businesses complain of an unfavorable business environment.
Economists however argue that businesses that are closing shop and laying off employees are doing so after failing to adapt to the changing dynamics of the economy. The challenge is now falling on both the government and individual actors in the economy to make the necessary amends that will enable the economy to move on an even keel.
Kenya’s economic growth between April and June this year stagnated at 5.6% for a second consecutive quarter. The growth recorded during that period was a drop compared to 6.4 % growth rate recorded during the same period in 2018.
According to the Kenya National Bureau Of Statistics, the decline in Kenya’s GDP growth was mainly due to a slowdown in the agriculture, manufacturing and transport sectors; three sectors that hold the key to unlocking the much-needed jobs.