Esther Passaris’s powerful motivation to awaken the youth

By Elkanah Nyauma

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As the country was going through tough economic times in 2020, with thousands of Kenyans having lost their livelihoods, the Nairobi woman representative, Esther Passaris was in the business of challenging Kenya’s youth to think big and think about starting their own businesses to overcome unemployment.

She said that is the best option to ensure they can earn a living especially now that the country is still under the effects of the Coronavirus. She gave loans to more than 15 youth groups in Komarok.

Esther Passaris expressed her disappointment with the youths who were selling the resources they acquired using the money they were given through Youth Fund to start and run their income generating projects in their youth groups.

What is happening with the youth in Kenya

The youth are rising up to the occasion to start and implement their own ideas and many of them are now realising that they can establish their own businesses.

Another good thing is that Kenya’s youths are supporting each other’s endeavours. A good example are the young people who are empowering other young entrepreneurs on LinkedIn to remember that they are their own motivators and that nobody will know how hard they work or even give them a pat on their back when they deserve it. They also urge them to keep working and building their enterprises.

Facts and figures

The youth population in Kenya between 18-34 years constituted 13,777,600, 29% of the total population as of 2019. (Citizen Digital).

More than a third of Kenya’s youth eligible for work have no jobs. This is 38.9 percent of the total population (Source: Business Daily Africa).

Kenya has created jobs during its strong economic growth years, but the jobs are mostly informal and low-paying. Economists say the rate by which the jobs come is low to accommodate the fast-growing population. (Source: Business Daily Africa)

Patrick Njoroge, the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said in 2020 that Kenya has GDP numbers. But he also added that Kenyans cannot eat GDP. What is needed is a livelihood, yes, an income.

He also faulted Kenya’s economic structure for achieving economic growth without offering jobs and income rise to Kenyans. He argued that though Kenya has invested a lot in infrastructure,  the country has not boosted wealth creation for working Kenyans.

The opinion: How to solve youth unemployment in Kenya

Doing research in communities to understand how vulnerable the youth are, both male and female. This will help in the design and implementation of gender-based strategies to help the youth.

Reviewing the current Kenyan education curricula and see to it that more business and leadership training units are added in primary and high schools and colleges so as to prepare the youth for employment.

Promoting internships and apprenticeships in Kenya to help the youth gain more experience and prepare for their future careers respectively.

Supporting Kenya’s youth to start their own businesses like Esther Passaris and others are doing, both formal and informal through training, for example, communication skills, entrepreneurship, business finance, strategic thinking, conflict management, and leadership among other skills.

Ensuring that there is no bias in the Kenyan employment system

Supporting the creativity of Kenya’s youth and businesses that are already supporting the youth.

The youth should create LinkedIn accounts to see how professionals are interacting with each other. This is a great way to start.

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