Nairobi: The issue of youth unemployment has been a topic that has hit headlines in the media. It has been tackled at multiple forums and workshops as it affects millions of young people in Kenya. The significance of this topic brought together yet another global and local network of experts in various fields to address this issue from different perspectives. This resulted in the publishing of the book titled “Youth Unemployment in Kenya: A Ticking Time Bomb,” which was launched on 16th March, 2016 at the Strathmore Business School.
The book explores various aspects of youth unemployment in Kenya. It looks at their entrepreneurial and innovative skills. It further addresses the important economic and social role of the informal sector. It captures government programmes that are jeopardized by bureaucracy as well as the social and cultural factors that particularly affect women and physically-challenged persons. Lastly, the role of the education sector in preparing young people for the labour market is highlighted.
A major shift from the current theory-based curriculum to one that promotes practical skills would be one of the measures to tackle youth unemployment. Towards this, the Education Cabinet Secretary Hon. Fred Matiang’i, key speaker at the event, said that, “the curriculum of the education system will be reviewed and a new one established by the end of the year. Training will be conducted in 56 different skills aimed at boosting talents and encouraging the youth to explore self employment opportunities as opposed to relying on white collar jobs.”
The book, which was supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, took two years to write and involved extensive research. It encompassed 21 authors, of whom 17 are Kenyans as well as students from the University of Trier in Germany and Kenyatta University. The process of writing was guided by three editors namely Dr. Monica Kerretts-Makau from the Strathmore Business School as well as Dr. Helmut Danner and Dr. Johannes Nebe from Germany.
The launch was adorned by other government officials such as Hon. Jonathan Mueke deputy governor Nairobi, Hon. Isaac Mwaura nominated MP for special interest groups as well as different stakeholders.