The Government has encouraged youth from 17 counties to take advantage of the Ksh.15 billion project meant to boost job opportunities under the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs.
Chief Administrative Secretary at the ministry Nadia Ahmed Abdalla said the government targets more than 50,000 youth under the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP).
KYEOP is a Ksh.15 billion project by the government-financed by World Bank targeting youth between 18- 29 years of Form 4 level and below.
The five-year project seeks to improve youth employability, support job creation, improve labour market information and strengthen youth policy development.
Speaking on Wednesday at the Institute of Certified Studies, Nairobi, where she led a delegation of State Department for Youth in assessing the preparedness of KYEOP to resume youth training which was stopped due to COVID-19, Ms Abdalla lauded the project.
“I’ve been on the ground and I have seen what KYEOP has done for young people,” she said. “Lazima tukumbuke Kenya ni mimi na wewe. We should understand that there is a lot we can do with the opportunities we’ve been given.”
During the event, the CAS also toured a number of exhibitions by KYEOP on Knitting, Fashion and Design and Artwork beneficiaries.
Over the last three weeks, Ms Abdalla, Youth Principal Secretary Julius Korir and other ministry officials have been conducting Master Craftsmen and Formal Training Providers assessment to gauge their preparedness for the resumption of the project.
The team has travelled to Mombasa, Kitui, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kisii and other KYEOP participating counties to ensure that they are ready to re-start the training while conforming to Ministry of Health COVID-19 safety measures.
The selection of counties was done based on population density, poverty levels, rural-urban mix, demographics of the population, presence of implementing agencies, and opportunities for youth to access entrepreneurship and job opportunities.
So far 32,124 youth have received training and internship in both the formal and informal sector out of which 75% have secured employment according to a report from an independent research firm.
A further 9,951 business support beneficiaries have received grants of Ksh.40,000 each amounting to Ksh.329 million while 4,204 youth have received Business Development Services.
Under the project, a Business Plan Competition dubbed MbeleNaBiz for high-potential job creators is currently ongoing. A total of 750 youth-owned enterprises will be financed through MbeleNaBiz where 250 beneficiaries will each receive grants of Ksh.3.6 million.
A further 500 beneficiaries will be awarded Ksh.900,000 each. A further 1500 youth are being trained in the preparation of business plans under the Business Development Support programme.
The project is further implementing a special product, the FutureBora Innovation Challenge which is an initiative that will come up with high-impact interventions for creating economic opportunities for the “hard-to-serve” youth and funding them through business grants to the tune of Ksh.120 million.