How Kenyan youth have benefited from Ksh.15 billion WB-funded Kenya Youth project

Kenya eyes another Ksh.23 billion loan from world Bank

The Ksh.15 billion Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP) has trained and placed 66,000 youths into employment opportunities.

KYEOP National Project Coordinator Augustine Mayabi said that in total 70,000 youth have been trained under the programme and a tracer’s study done two months ago discovered that out of the trained youths, 66,000 of them are already in either self-employment or are employed by their trainers.

KYEOP is a World Bank-funded project to a tune of Ksh.15 billion but implemented by the Kenyan government. The project targets youth with low levels of education and are unemployed.

“The initiative is an affirmative project which targets youth whose level of education is up to form four and below focusing on those who have not gone to college or have no hope of going to one in the foreseeable future,” said Mayabi.

He said that they implement the project in collaboration with other government agencies like the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) and the Ministry of labour who give them market information systems.

“For this particular project we are implementing it in 17 counties which are Kwale, Kilifi, Mombasa, Nairobi, Kitui, Machakos, Mandera, Wajir, Nyandarua, Kiambu, Nakuru, Migori, Kisii, Kisumu, Kakamega, Bungoma and Turkana.”

He said that the objective of the project is to increase employment opportunities and empower the youth to create their own businesses targeting youth between 18 and 29 years.

“The first component we offer is internship and training where we address the skills mismatch. We take the youth through a two weeks’ life skills training on issues of leadership, raising self-esteem and personal health. This is followed by another two weeks on core business skills training on entrepreneurships, spotting business ideas and opportunities.”

Mayabi said that after the training they attach the youth to master craftsmen that is the masons, carpenters, beauty therapists, welders among others where they are attached for five weeks and after that they seat for an examination from NITA and they get a certificate to allow them to get the jobs.

Under KYEOP there are other youths who are taken to the formal training providers like Kenyatta University and technical institutions for two months in the classroom and another four months’ internships with the craftsmen in their fields of specialization.

“We also have a component of funding business start-ups where successful applicants are taken through and entrepreneurship aptitude test and for those who qualify they are given a grant of Ksh.20,000 and we monitor them for two months and if their business is growing, we give them another Ksh.20,000 making a total of Ksh.40,000,” explained Mayabi.

He added that there is also the Business plan competition which was launched by the president in 2020 and around 3,000 youth with innovative business ideas applied. 750 were identified for funding with 550 qualifying to get each Ksh.900,000 and 200 qualified to get Ksh.3.6 million. Out of these, the 741 who qualified have been funded to a tune of Ksh.1.3 billion shillings.

Government Spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said that the idea of this project is that no one is left behind irrespective of their education background adding that there is something for each and every Kenyan youth.

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