NAIROBI, I March 2018
– UN-Habitat and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund have signed a Memorandum of Understanding initiating a partnership that will support economic empowerment of youth for sustainable urbanization. By providing entrepreneurial training, building and coordinating activities of youth centres to promote entrepreneurship, equipping youth with relevant and employable skills, and supporting them to access information on job opportunities the partnership is expected to create some 100,000 new jobs for Kenyan youth annually.

Addressing a cross section of Kenyan youth at a conference on empowerment of urban youth for sustainable urbanization held at the UN Complex in Gigiri on 28 February 2018, UN-Habitat Executive Director Mme.  Maimunah Mohd Sharif noted that there is need to empower the youth segment of the population to contribute meaningfully and effectively to the country’s socio-economic transformation through wealth creation and poverty reduction initiatives. “UN-Habitat is willing and ready to provide the requisite technical support for the Youth Enterprise Development Fund  to achieve this. Sustainable urbanization cannot be achieved without addressing the challenges faced by youth in our cities and other human settlements and youth empowerment is one of the four cross-cutting issues in the UN-Habitat Strategic Plan for 2014-2019.  ,” she said.

UN-Habitat and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund  are partnering to mobilize resources to implement the “Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Urbanization in Kenya 2016-2018” Programme which will lead to establishment of entrepreneurship hubs (e-HUBs) around the country. The e-HUBs will leverage ICT to bring together innovative youth on one hand and both public and private investors on the other, in the effort to transform potential youth initiatives into sustainable business enterprises.

Chairman of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund Board, Mr. Ronald Osumba observed that rural-urban migration is often influenced by the need for economic betterment. With the youth representing 80 percent of the population, their potential in the social and economic development of the country cannot be overlooked adding that  skills development, mentorship, coaching and an enabling environment is required for the youth to succeed.