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Gov’t unveils Sh1.8 Billion youth empowerment program in Western Kenya

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By Doreen Kathambi

The Kenyan government in partnership with German Development Agency Wednesday announced the launch of Sh1.8billion rural youth employment programmes in western Kenya meant to offer skills and job prospects in agricultural sector.

Over 10,000 youth in Bungoma, Kakamega, Siaya and Vihiga Counties will benefit from the programmes that are aimed at increasing youth participation in Agriculture.

The projects will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and Cooperatives and the German Technical Cooperation Agency Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbelt (GIZ) in the next five years.

“Today we launch two key programmes that are expected to transform over 10, 000 youth.  The first being the Rural youth employment in Western Kenya Initiative dubbed KilimoNiBiz as well as the Youth Employment In Agri-food sector in Western Kenya programme which will increase their employability through competency- based training, promotion of job placement services and strengthening the self-organization of the rural youth,” said the Ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary Anne Nyaga, adding that the projects were agreed on during the negotiations between Kenya and Germany in December 2018 with Germany issuing the Sh1.8 billion grants.

Demographic analysis shows that more than two thirds of Kenya’s population is the youth. In 2019 the estimated youth unemployment rate in Kenya was at 18.34 percent. Agriculture is key to Kenya’s economy, contributing 26 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and another 27 percent of GDP through linkages with other sectors.

The sector also employs more than 40 percent of the total population and more than 70 percent of Kenya’s rural people.

There’s a need to create food security in the country and thus the government is keen on strong collaborations and partnerships.

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