Generation Unlimited focuses on seven strategic priorities as outlined below:
- Transform the formal school experience to build skills young people need for productive lives and the future of work.
- Provide young people outside formal schooling with opportunities for training, skill development, and additional education.
- Improve connections between job seekers and work opportunities, as well as access to quality work opportunities for young people.Increase the number of quality work opportunities available to young people.
- Foster broad-based entrepreneurship as a mindset and a livelihood.
- Ensure equitable access to education, training, entrepreneurship, employment and civic participation.
- Equip young people as problem-solvers.
Generation Unlimited (or “Gen-U”) seeks to contribute to the UN delivery strategy of ‘Youth 2030: Working with and For Young People,’ by creating synergies between partners to mobilize support and maximize results. It will complement and build on existing programmes that support adolescents and young people.
The Youth Strategy is a practical framework that is not only aligned to the SDGs framework but also with the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 goal of an “Engaged and empowered youth and children” and the Africa Youth Charter’s focus on “Education, skills and competence development; Employment and sustainable livelihoods; and Youth leadership and participation”
The realization of the GenU objectives will impact all the SDGs as GenU focuses specifically on SDG 4: Education. to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ and SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
In recognition of the disruption to education and employment, the GenU Global Board in its April Board meeting prioritized the following four thematic areas;
- Connecting every school and learner to the internet. By prioritizing connectivity and mobilizing private and public funding and other resources to connect two million schools and approximately 500 million children and youth in the next three years.
- Scaling-up online/remote learning, skilling and livelihood platforms. This will provide facilitated access to existing digital content and tools that can be used for remote learning and skilling of young people as well advancing employment, entrepreneurship and civic engagement opportunities.
- Encouraging entrepreneurship skills and opportunities. Need for more new job-creating enterprises and entrepreneurial mindset. Creation of an entrepreneurial movement in every region as there are several promising models that could be replicated.
- Supporting young people as changemakers. This entails massive scale-up of proven youth engagement and volunteering initiatives globally to support young people as changemakers and co-creators of their own solutions.
For GenU Kenya, even during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the commitment to young persons has not wavered, because beyond these trying times, the prosperity of Kenya will be built through collective and strategic investments in our youthful population.
To meet the urgent need for expanded education, skill development, employment, and engagement opportunities for young people the Government of Kenya and multi-sector partners have created innovative initiatives/programs and platforms that will mitigate the effects of COVID-19 to ensure our young people have the opportunity to realize their full potential during and post.
During the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2018, the President of Kenya H.E Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta was endorsed as a Global Champion of the young people’s agenda and in June 2019 he was invited and accepted to be in the Generation Unlimited Global Leaders Group of 11 members. As a UN Global Leader, the President advocates for the Global partnership by leveraging his influence to access opportunities, advocate for Generation Unlimited and mobilize resources to provide every young person with access to quality education, training or employment by 2030. Kenya’s ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joseph Mucheru is a member of the Generation Unlimited Global Executive Committee, which comprises 11 members who approve annual strategic priorities, budget, and oversee the GenU Trust Fund among other functions.
Kenya, together with India and Bangladesh were the front runner countries to champion GenU as the initiative resonated with the development vision for Kenya as a country that engages and supports young people to fulfil their potential.
For Kenya, the GenU partnership initiative is timely. Kenya has prioritized young people’s agenda and the youth remain a central theme for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government. In November 2019, the President and Cabinet assented to a new Youth Development Policy (KYDP) to harness and optimize the strengths and opportunities that the youth present while addressing the personal and structural barriers that affect their productivity. With the new youth policy and reforms in Education, Training and MSME development it is expected that the GenU multi-stakeholder partnership will help guide the country in accelerating progress on learning, skills / training and linkages to employment and entrepreneurship through a coordinated approach.
The President’s development agenda aligns very closely with the Young People’s Agenda. While launching the Mastercard Foundation funded Young Africa Works programme in June 2020 the President told the youth that
“You are the most important agenda to me because you are not only our future but our present”. In his speech during the International Youth Day 2019 the President said “Given my position as a Global Leader for Young People’s Agenda, I affirm my commitment to remain true to true to the spirit of Article 55 of our constitution, we will make every effort to ensure our youth realize their full potential and participate effectively in the advancement of the social, economic and political agenda of our Nation”. Specifically, the President is committed to education and has committed over 25% of the national budget to the sector. In addition, from 2018 the President advocated for 100% transition to secondary school and curriculum reforms to competency-based skills.
To meet the urgent need for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people the President has supported partnerships such as the Microsoft Africa Development Centre; MasterCard Young Africa Works Program, as well as partnerships with several motor vehicle manufacturing companies to. In addition, the President’s Big Four Agenda and the Economic Stimulus Programmes increased access to opportunities for young entrepreneurs in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector.
The President also advocates amongst African businesses, industry and entrepreneurial leaders regionally on job markets and creating opportunities for young people at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of businesspersons and investments that came into force in May 30, 2019.
The Generation Unlimited Partnership is led by UNICEF. Its governance structure comprises:
- A Global Board of over 50 members (Kenya’s representative to the Board is Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joseph Mucheru, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs). Members of the Global Board provide expertise, strategic direction, resources and leadership and oversee the partnership).
- Global champions – In addition to the governance bodies, high-profile individuals support Generation Unlimited by lending their voices as Champions.
- Secretariat: The initiative is supported by a secretariat that harnesses and coordinates the expertise of multiple partners around the world.
- A Generation Unlimited Executive Committee of 11 members who approve annual strategic priorities, budget, and oversee the GenU Trust Fund among other functions. Kenya’s ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru is a member of the Executive Committee.
In the Kenyan context, GenU’s vision is aligned to the Generation Unlimited goal of ensuring that every young person ages 10-24 years either in education, training and employment by 2030.
The mission of GenU Kenya is to promote education, skills, empowerment and employment for young people by ‘building a multi-stakeholder public private partnership between youth, development partners, international finance institutions, private investors and other Kenyan stakeholders that catalyzes capital, demonstrates effective models and influences policy in support of replicable and/or scalable youth development initiatives and youth-led transformative action across Kenya.’
Partnerships are at the heart of the Generation Unlimited initiative and in line with this, GenU Kenya will forge a coordinated multi stakeholder partnership of young people, government, private sector, development partners, youth organisations/ civil society and financing organisations to: –
- Initiate innovative solutions to the challenges in access to quality education, skills training, employment and entrepreneurship.
- Accelerate scalable initiatives and good practices to achieve the vision of GenU Kenya and the global objectives.
- Remove Bottlenecks/ Barriers especially for vulnerable young people with programs such as scholarships for talented young people from low income households, mental health and psychosocial wellness, menstrual hygiene management, reproductive health, linkages to employment etc.
Co-create with young people as active problem solvers and key stakeholders as young people continue to feel left out of the development equation with the feeling that “if we are not at the table, we are the meal”.
- Accelerate delivery and full implementation of Competency Based Curriculum and Competency Based Education and Training to complete schools with meaningful learning and skills outcomes.
- Scale up Digital and eLearning by setting up Computer laboratories, connecting schools with electricity and internet and improving the capacity of teachers.
- Support young people access to Secondary Education and Tertiary and Vocational Training through Scholarships to top performing students from financially challenged backgrounds.
- Connect skilled youth with job opportunities through Internship and Apprenticeships and related platforms especially within the private sector.
- Support youth entrepreneurship, micro enterprises and innovations through credits, business development services, mentorship, life skills and an enabling environment to operate their businesses and innovate.
- Support and scale up digital work opportunities through platforms such as the Ajira Digital platform and others.
- Co-create with young people by providing platforms to engage and voice their opinions on issues that affect them such as GenU Youth Challenge
- Remove barriers/bottlenecks that negatively affect transition rates of young people especially young girls by investing in water and sanitation to address menstrual hygiene, other limitations to learning and work such as early marriages, teenage pregnancy, mental health and other harmful practices.
Young people are at the heart of Generation Unlimited as they know and understand the challenges they face and this is the main driving force in developing solutions to their problems. Generation Unlimited involves young people in the co-creation of its agenda as well as the governance and implementation. This inclusion of the youth and coordination will always ensure that they guide the partnership and remain the central focus. GenU also seeks to create a coordinated multi-stakeholder partnership that will plan, innovate, scale and align investments with Government priorities thus eliminating the challenge of uncoordinated and fragmented youth programmes. GenU also differs from other youth programs in that it focuses on a slightly different age bracket, 10-24 years.
Generation Unlimited is an initiative that benefits some directly and others indirectly but with an aim of making everyone live a dignified and productive life. Directly, young people through the principle of representation will participate in forums to share ideas and influence decisions, they will participate in youth challenges, some will benefit from scholarships, loans, grants, internship, business development support, access to jobs such as Kazi Mtaani among others. The Steering committee comprises representatives of young people. Indirectly, policies put in place, strengthened coordination of efforts will be of benefit to young Kenyans.
The Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge brings together bright young minds to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing their generation. The GenU Youth challenge happens once a year to call on young innovators to design solutions to improve education, employment and civic engagement. It aims to inspire young people with brilliant ideas, but without the resources to bring them to life. This includes young refugees, those who face daily discrimination due to their ethnicity, their gender or their disability and those who are disadvantaged by poverty.
GenU creates an enabling environment for young people to reach their maximum potential through a 360-degree approach. It will improve the education and training eco-system, increase employment prospects, foster entrepreneurship and ensure equity for all. As key stakeholders in the vision and mission of the movement youth will play an integral part in shaping decisions about themselves. GenU will also build the capacity of young people to meaningfully engage and become change agents to positively and boldly disrupt the norm when need be.
To operationalize the goal and support the President’s commitment to the Youth Agenda, a Steering Committee was formed in April 2019 co-chaired by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Policy and Strategy, Executive Office of the President and the UN Resident Coordinator. The committee of 35 members has wide representation from government, UN and bilateral agencies; private sector associations, youth serving organizations and development partners.
A Multi-stakeholder Partnership Alliance Forum that draws representation from all key stakeholders will be established to regularly deliberate and evaluate the GenU Kenya initiative’s contributions to the national development priorities and objectives
To support the Steering committee and GenU Multi-Stakeholder Partners, a secretariat has been established at the Executive Office of the President, Policy and Strategy Unit, for smooth coordination of the multiple stakeholders, monitoring and reporting towards enhancing young people’s access to education, skills training and employment opportunities.
Website: www.genukenya.or.ke | www.generationunlimited.org
Contact: GenU Kenya Secretariat through firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: +254 20 2215530