The situation of the youth in Kenya 

Youth can be defined in many contexts such as transitional, demographic, cultural, biological and social. In this context, the youth is defined within demographic and transitory paradigms. Transitional paradigm issues include marriageablity, responsibility (social and economic), maturity and reproductivity.

Youth unemployment has become a major challenge in the 21st Century. The Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the regions highly affected by youth unemployment. It is estimated to be more than 21% (ILO: 2003). According to ILO projection, Sub-Saharan Africa will witness substantial growth in additional labour force of 28 million - 30 million between 2003 and 2015.

While contending that the current economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa countries will not cope with the growing number of unemployed youth in the region, alternative strategies need to be developed before situation gets out of control.

In Kenya, youth unemployment is a serious development issue. It is estimated that 64% of unemployed persons in Kenya are youth. Interestingly only 1.5% of the unemployed youth have formal education beyond secondary school level and the remaining over 92% have no vocational or professional skills training and the majorities are found in the rural Kenya. Due to inadequate employment and livelihood opportunities in rural areas the tendency is that they migrate to urban centres to look for such opportunities. 

Kenyan economy heavily depends on Agriculture (30% of GDP), which is basically rural-oriented sector. Suprisingly, Kenyan agriculture is still labour-intensive thus the out-migration of young and productive labour force from rural to urban centres has a direct negative impact on agricultural production hence job creation in other sectors which are directly or indirectly linked to the sector will be reduced. A strategy of rolling back rural –urban migration by creating opportunities for employment and access of livelihoods would have a positive spiral effect on Kenya economy.  

Youth in refugee camps

Young girls gave birth

Beautiful Kenya