Youth unemployment in Kenya soars to 17.3%

idle youths in Nairobi, Kenya

idle youths in Nairobi, Kenya

A new World Bank report has said that youth unemployment in Kenya has reached alarming levels with 17.3% of young people who make up the biggest segment of the country’s population lacking jobs

According to the report released this week, despite being East Africa’s largest economy, Kenya is among the countries with the highest unemployment rate in the whole world. The report attributes the high unemployment rate to the country’s failure to create jobs, adding that many fresh graduates face the danger of missing out on opportunities as entry-level employees.

“At least one in every five Kenyan youth have no jobs, painting a sad state of affairs of the labor market. Compared to neighboring Tanzania and Uganda, the number of unemployed Kenyan youth almost triples their counterparts, with its two neighbors posting figures as low as one in every twenty youth rendered jobless. This translates to a17.3 per cent rate in Kenya compared to six per cent for both Tanzania and Uganda,” says the report.

The World Bank Resident Lead Economist Apurva Sanghihere urged the Kenyan government to improve the quality of education offered in the country, by offering more innovativeness in the curriculum which will prepare graduates for the job market.

The report comes amid reports of corruption in the country’s Youth Enterprise Development Fund that led to the suspension of the Fund’s Chief Executive Officer Catherine Namuye for allegedly awarding a Ksh180 million contract through personal contact and not through a competitive tendering process as required by law. According to the owner of the company in question, Mukuria Ngamau, the two met at a function where the deal was sealed.

Suspects in the grand scheme theft have been appearing before the country’s National Assembly Public Accounts Committee over fraudulent transactions that led to loss of Ksh180 million, with another Ksh220 million still unaccounted for.

The World Bank is set to implement a Ksh15 billion shillings project aimed at providing internship opportunities for Kenyan graduates and creating more employability guided by a well mapped out road map. The project is expected to start in the next four months.