Kenya Commercial Bank Foundation launched its youth empowerment program dubbed 2Jiajiri (Lets employ ourselves), a program that seeks to empower budding entrepreneurs to scale and upscale their business ventures.
The launch coincided with a new report by World Bank : Kenya, East Africa’s biggest economy, holds the dubious distinction of being the country with the largest number of unemployed youth in the region. The report, officially released says Kenya’s rate of unemployment now standing at three times that of the neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania — is also among the highest in the world.
The report says that nearly one in every five Kenyan youths of working age has no job compared to Uganda and Tanzania where about one in every 20 young people is jobless, underlining the harsh economic reality that Kenyan youths are facing. Unemployment among Kenya’s youth is now estimated to stand at 17.3 per cent compared to six per cent for both Uganda and Tanzania.
The World Bank report says mass unemployment continues to deny Kenya the opportunity to put its growing labour force to productive use, thereby “denying the economy the demographic dividend from majority young population”. Kenya has a working-age population of 25.5 million, or over half the country’s population and the number is projected to swell to 39.2 million in the next 14 years when the country hopes to have transformed into an industrialised middle-income economy.
Kenyans took to social media with the hashtag 2Jiajiri and here are some reactions:
— MIIK (@IkuaKabucho) March 9, 2016
A maindi seller has managed to buy a matatu and here you are looking for cash to go drinking coz ur jobless.. Nkt #2Jiajiri @lameckm11
— Ms Kinyash (@Mauhkinyash) March 9, 2016
Easy to talk about starting a business but in real life it's pretty hard esp if you started with a loan #2Jiajiri
— Alex Murogo (@alekxee) March 9, 2016
You want to get job security and never wait for end month to carry your wallet then its time you conciderd #2Jiajiri its the only sure way
— Denis Kangu (@DenisKangu) March 9, 2016