Kenya Passes Law to Empower Country’s Youth as Government Moves to Tackle Unemployment Crisis

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Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has approved a Bill that will help empower the country’s young adult population while helping grow the country’s economy.

The law, known as the National Youth Service Bill 2018, is among five other Bills that were approved as the President welcomed the New Year.

The Bill, dubbed the National Youth Service Act 2018, overhauls a previous law known as the National Youth Service Act, Cap. 208 by establishing the National Youth Service as a corporate entity, whose functions will now include the undertaking of enterprises and commercial activities.

“The youth are backbone of Kenya’s economy and I’m happy to hear that in 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta will review policies in taxation and access to credit that will allow the small business owners and young entrepreneurs to grow and compete on a global platform,” Kenyan Business Man, Mogul and Media Executive, Chris Kirubi commented following the announcement.

In a speech issued this week in Kenya’s Mombasa County, President Kenyatta said the new Bill is aimed at ensuring the National Youth Service – a voluntary work and educational programme for young Kenya citizens – becomes self-sustaining by enabling it to generate funds for its own use and operations.

Kenyatta’s announcement comes at a time when more than 26% of Kenya’s youth are unemployed, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Meanwhile, the country’s Statistics Bureau found that in mid-2018, at least 1.4 million Kenyans who make up the country’s labour force were unemployed.

According to a report dubbed the 2015/16 Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey, as at May 2018, Kenya had a labour force of 19.3 million with 17.9 million in gainful employment.

President Kenyatta, who was elected for a second term in 2017, says his administration plans to rectify this disparity. His government has already launched an ambitious development plan that seeks to create jobs and improve the livelihoods of millions of Kenyans.

The Head of State says his government plans to ensure these plans take shape as the New Year begins.

“It is my humble privilege, as the President of the Republic, to wish all Kenyans and our brothers and sisters across the world, a happy and prosperous New Year. Thank You and God Bless the Republic of Kenya,” President Kenyatta said as he concluded his speech.

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