Kenya will receive KSh30 billion from the Mastercard Foundation to help the youth access jobs and scale up their businesses.
The newly launched initiative dubbed ‘Young Africa Works’ in Nairobi on Thursday aims to support five million Kenyan youth to access work over the next five years.
Young Africa Works in Kenya is aligned to the country’s economic priorities, including the ‘Big Four’ sectors (enhancing manufacturing, food security and nutrition, universal health coverage, and affordable housing), as well as the digital economy.
The initiative will equip young people with digital, vocational, and life skills; use technology to connect employers and job seekers; and support entrepreneurs and micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to grow and generate work through access to finance, business development services, and markets.
“Kenya has a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, a strong private sector, and an enabling policy environment… Young Africa Works in Kenya builds on this momentum to prepare and connect young people to opportunities that will grow the economy and transform their lives,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation.
This includes partnerships with Equity Group Foundation, Equity Bank Group, KCB Group, and KCB Foundation, which will provide funding in the form of capital, business development services, and market linkages to MSMEs to support their growth.
Young Africa Works in Kenya will support the expansion of the Ajira Digital program, which will provide digital skills training and mentoring to young Kenyans as well as increase their access to locally available digital and digitally-enabled jobs.
This implementation will be undertaken with Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), and private sector partners such as eMobilis. In addition, Moringa School will provide digital and professional skills training in software development and data science through their blended learning model and will help place graduates in leading technology companies in Kenya and across the region.
President Kenyatta, who launched the initiative, said, “We have a strong platform to expand job opportunities for our young people. We are now seeking to unlock their potential; with this platform being an important avenue to allow them to transform their lives, the country, and the world. What we are launching today will contribute significantly towards this goal in several ways.”