Why Kenya is struggling to recover from the past and its debts

By Elkanah Nyauma

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Kenya has in recent years made economic changes that have led to the continued growth of its economy. However, poverty among its people, inequality at different levels, poor leadership, and a lack of strategy for the foreseeable future have made the country vulnerable to failure in many ways.

Engaging the largest segment of the country, the youthful population fully is therefore not something to debate about but a crucial aspect of the country’s development formula. Kenya needs to invest in its people for it to reap from them.

Facts

The government has made efforts to address youth problems. This can be seen in projects like Kazi Mtaani and other programs like Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF).

The marginalization of Kenyan youth has continued since independence in spite of the formulation of policies and implementation of various policies to help them. Mutuku (2009, p. 4)

In the last few years, the Kenyan government has come up with strategies to engage the youth.

The government has advanced the National Youth Service program to engage the youth in nation-building projects while offering them vocational and technical training.

The government has helped and still is helping students to pay for their college and university school fees through the HELB program.

Opinion: Why Kenya is suffering 

Political betrayal has led to the deaths of many people who would otherwise have helped in boosting the Kenyan economy.

Poor strategy and concentrating on non-important projects

Embezzlement of funds

Lack of integrity in dealing with government funds, for example, the country uses a lot of money on a small project

Mismanagement of funds – Investing in projects that are not important at a given time

The youth destroying properties in the name of following some people they believe in. Then they end up fighting with other youth who do not believe in what they believe, destroying other people’s properties

The people whose properties are destroyed are forced to start over because the government cannot compensate them. Lack of skills, for example, many youths have no skills yet they complain they have no jobs.

Many youths depend on politicians that they believe are doing what they love. For example, many youths are following the hustler narrative because it is focussed on them without knowing that this can be a trick to get votes from them. Others are following the BBI because many counties voted for it and so on.

Way forward

The youth should know that only they have the solutions they are looking for

The youth should use every opportunity they have to learn the skills they are passio0nate about instead of looking for jobs that they cannot find without experience.

The government should work harder and creative in coming up with learning opportunities for the youth because they are the ones who can change this country.

The government should work with other stakeholders like the World Bank, the British Council, the USAID among others to empower the youth and other people alike with skills and create job opportunities. When they start earning, the government will benefit.

The country should seize the opportunities available for the youths by addressing the problems affecting the health and education sectors, empowerment, and employment.

The government and its partners should increase awareness of family planning to alleviate unintended pregnancies in society. This will help women to stop spending more time taking care of their children and enter the workforce leading to economic productivity.

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