Local News


The Kisii County Government has formulated a Development and Empowerment Policy amid reports that up to 79 per cent of the youth are jobless.

The new policy will address challenges facing the youth by providing a framework that gives adequate resources which will empower the youth in the county.

The framework for development and empowerment intervention will provide guidelines for different sectors to identify specific youth issues and how to address them.

The Director of Youth Affairs in the County, Mr Douglas Arege, said, “the main objective of the policy is to support programs and interventions aimed at promoting effective and inclusive engagement of the Youth in development issues.”

Strategies will also involve promoting effective engagement of the youth at all levels of county government through dialogue and outreach frameworks, linking them with regional and international frameworks and Provision of youth exchange programmes.

The strategies will focus on the participation of the youth in governance roles, participation in key decision making through policy influencing, advocacy, public county planning, budgeting and monitoring processes.

“This is a major step in the youth empowerment programme. For a long time, we have been working without proper figures. It was necessary to do the policy to have a proper budget for the youth,” said Arege.

He added: “The aspiration of this policy is to improve the livelihood of youth through investments in key priority areas that generate sustainable socio-economic development and empowerment most rapidly to contribute to the realization of the County’s vision of creating a prosperous County with a high quality of life for its residents.”

Records in the County’s Department of Youth and Sports indicate that 90 per cent of youth-owned businesses or companies are not registered, 44 per cent of these are individuals or sole proprietorship businesses and 46 per cent are group businesses.

Out of 10 per cent that are registered only four per cent are individual or sole proprietorship businesses whereas six per cent are registered by groups. Low registration of individual business was attributed mainly to the lack of adequate information on procedures for registering businesses as individual youth.

The drafting of the policy was funded by World Vision, UKaid, Transform Empowerment For Action Initiative and Deepening Democracy Programme.

In a situational analysis of the youth in Kisii; 79 per cent remain unemployed, 13 per cent are self-employed, and three per cent are employed in private companies. Three per cent in national Government and two per cent in the county government of Kisii.

The analysis further indicates that five per cent are practising self-employment mainly in the transport industry commonly referred to as motorbike taxis. Two per cent are in small scale business that includes hawking, food vending and grocery shops.

A further two per cent are artisans (mechanic, carpentry, masonry, welding and shoe repair) while one per cent of the youth are engaged in tailoring, dressmaking. One per cent selling used clothes (Mitumba), hairdressing, barbershop, selling cosmetic, ICT and MPESA and agribusiness.

According to Kenya Integrated Household Survey (2018), Kisii County has one of the highest age dependency ratios in the country of 84.7 per cent compared to the national average of 81.6 per cent and a poverty level of 44.5 per cent against the national figure of 32 per cent.

By Frank Akunga

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