UN-Habitat youth forum on urban economy in the refugee settlement

By on 09/12/2016

un-habitat-youth-forum-on-urban-economy-in-the-refugee-settlementKakuma, Kenya 12 September 2016—UN-Habitat and its partners recently hosted a forum to train a group of youths from Kakuma and Kalobeyei on urban economy. Mr. Geidon Loitalem Angelei, delegate from the Ministry of Trade, Industrialization and Enterprise Development Turkana County trained the youth on the procedure of starting a business in Kenya, including the focus activity, branding, but most importantly the process for obtaining a license for the entrepreneurial activity.

Further, Ms. Philomena Wanyama from World Food Programme, presented the structure of Bamba Chakula Programe developed by WFP in support of the integration approach of the host and refugee community. Within the programme, local enterprises can be registered to trade with the refugees communities, empowering the host community in economic development. Young people will need to develop the skills and understanding to pursue and develop innovative solutions for businesses.

UN-Habitat in partnership with Peace Winds Japan will offer a series of trainings to build the capacity of youths to initiate youth led enterprises which will promote employment in the area. On his part, Mr. David Kariuki, an economic and municipal finance expert from UN-Habitat explained how the spatial planning for the Kalobeyei Settlement will help to maximize the benefits of urbanization and prevent or mitigate negative impacts, helping to create and keep quality local jobs.

Kariuki presented step by step how youth should analyze the ideas viability, develop an action plan, mobilize capital, and assess the market focusing on demand and availability of goods. This is a progressive forum projected to benefit 30 youths from the host community and potentially contribute to their livelihoods and reduce the economic disparities with their counterparts from the refugee community as recorded in previous developments.

UN-Habitat is working on supporting planning for integrated refugee and host communities, and as a cross-cutting issue, youth involvement is highly important in increasing capacity and linking opportunities for development from an economic perspective. Following a quick assessment of urban economy on small businesses in Kakuma- Kalobeyei area, UN-Habitat team discussed the need of increasing the capacity of the host community in Kalobeyei town to enable them benefit from the potential opportunities that the New Settlement brings for development.

UN-Habitat is leading the spatial planning component for Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement, through a deeply participatory process aimed at integrating refugees and host communities, funded by the Government of Japan. The New Settlement is an important new market, an opportunity for business development for the surrounding community, in particular Kalobeyei Town. Kalobeyei town has a very weak standing in urban economy practices, with great need for enhancing its capacity and products, and with strengths such as a large number of potential competent workers and the land availability.

Following the outcomes of a scoping socio-economic research, the community in Kalobeyei Town needs to be informed on the “how to conceptualize business ideas from emerging economic opportunities with respect to the legal requierements of business ownership” as the roadmap to benefitting from the growing market in Kalobeyei area.

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