Support youth investment groups to create jobs, analyst says Raphael Obonyo
Reprinted from Citizen Digital, May 1, 2021

The Youth Congress has called for more support for youth investment groups citing unemployment rates which have increased following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Raphael Obonyo, co-founder of the lobby group, says youth unemployment in Kenya is still rampant, even among the educated.

“Youth are the majority among the unemployed Kenyans who have got no source of income. Out of every 10 unemployed Kenyans, seven of them are young people aged 35 and below,” he said.

He was speaking on Saturday after the Youth Congress, in partnership with Kenya Community Development Foundation, presented equipment and tools to youth groups in Kibra, Githurai and Mukuru.

Mr. Obonyo, a public analyst and consultant with UN-Habitat and the World Bank, argues that youth from across the country have to urgently innovate new strategies on how they can get ahead socio-economically.

He said youth associations that promote entrepreneurship, as has become the norm in the informal settlements of Nairobi, can yield multiple socio-economic gains if widely replicated.

“Without employment, youth in informal settlements are faced with poverty, which makes them vulnerable targets for criminal gangs and radical groups,” his statement adds.

The public analyst further noted that there are many positive stories to tell about the role of youth entrepreneurial groups in socio-economic empowerment.

In the same manner that women investment groups, chamas, have lifted millions of women from poverty, youth investment groups in entrepreneurship can create jobs for the youth, if supported and widely replicated, he said.

“Business in youth entrepreneurship groups is centered around what groups of youth like doing, something that makes them focus more on pursuing their talents and passion as businesses,” Mr. Obonyo said, “The most important task for any nation should be to make sure all our young people can achieve their dreams.”



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