NAIROBI, 5 August 2020 – A visionary new multi-sector partnership designed to see more than 30 million young Kenyans in education, training or employment by 2030 has been officially launched by the Government, with the support of the United Nations and other partners.
Generation Unlimited (GenU) is part of a global initiative designed to help equip young people between the ages of ten and 24 – who make up more than three in five (63 per cent) of Kenya’s population – with the skills they need to thrive in society and the world of work.
“When we invest in our young people, our potential for progress is unlimited, and this is more important now than ever,” said His Excellency the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta. “By offering all young people opportunity, we will boost our economy, increase the wellbeing of families across the country, and help meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”
“Around the world, too many young people are out of school – and those who are in school find a mismatch between what they are learning and the job market,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Under COVID-19, young people are facing yet another barrier, as businesses close, jobs are lost, and economies suffer. GenU is about joining forces to help them gain the education, marketable skills and training they need to prepare for the world of work – during and beyond the pandemic.”
The GenU programme aims to help young people successfully transition between primary and secondary school and then on to University. It also focuses on nurturing entrepreneurship and promoting equitable access to employment opportunities, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently around half of 14 to 17-year-olds in Kenya do not finish secondary school, while only 7.7 per cent progress to University. In 2019, graduates from universities and vocational and technical colleges faced an unemployment rate of twice the national average (18.34 per cent), suggesting a mismatch between their skills and the needs of the job market. According to the latest data, 85 per cent of unemployed people in Kenya are younger than 35.
GenU focuses on scalable programmes in Kenya, including: