Private sector lobby rolls out youth job creation programme

From left: Sports CS Ababu Namwamba, Kepsa CEO Carole Kariuki, DP Rigathi Gachagua and Kepsa Chairperson Flora Mutahi. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) is targeting to offer five million new jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities to youth and women in the next five years.

Dubbed Kenya Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme (K-YEEAP), the initiative seeks to identify and tap into underserved economic sectors.

The programme also aims to support the growth of 200,000 small businesses while catalysing the development of 10,000 startups through the creation of 47 county business hubs.

“Kenya cannot be left behind in the digital revolution in creating opportunities for our young people. Our work in the public sector is to ease business and facilitate the private sector to create and deliver these opportunities for our young people because the government must support businesses,” said Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua while launching the accelerator initiative.

Mr Gachagua lauded the programme, adding that young people below age 35 want to actively participate in the development of the country.

“We are committed to reducing bureaucracy in government by streamlining the business licensing regime, as well as unlocking other structural bottlenecks to improve public service delivery around business and entrepreneurial support,” he said.

Kepsa Chief Executive Carole Kariuki said K-YEEAP will also pursue relevant and market-oriented skills for industry transformation by closely collaborating with the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) ecosystem.

“This initiative aims to address barriers to youth employment such as demand and absorption capacity creation, given the dual challenges of a growing youth bulge, and the systemic bottlenecks that youth face when entering the labour market,” she said.

To accomplish the vision to reach the five million new jobs target, the sector will leverage its industry knowledge and access to the supply, policy, and demand sides of the labour market.

This will facilitate access to finance and markets, business coaching and mentorship while creating linkages for small businesses with large companies' supply chains.