On Thursday, 19 June 2019, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said Africa has to invest more in its youth for it to become a continent of hope and prosperity.
Kenyatta said he was committed to keep up the momentum to create more jobs for the youth in Kenya and would each year host a summit on jobs to engage directly with young people.
“I commit to host an annual Jobs Summit which will engage young people, partners and all stakeholders to take stock of progress and advance action to increase the quality and quantum of jobs available to our young people,” said Kenyatta.
Kenyatta said this as he launched a public-private partnership program that brings together MasterCard Foundation, Kenyan banks and the government to support job creation by supporting SME’s to the tune of more than 100 billion shillings (982 million dollars)
The Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works Kenya platform aims to work closely with technical colleges and linking the youth to the job market. It will also create jobs by supporting the Small and Medium Enterprises through access to funds and training.
Kenyatta said the youth are Africa’s biggest asset and governments should focus necessary policy attention on them.
“I urge Africa to invest in the youth and we will become a continent of hope, dignity and prosperity,” said the President.
He said the majority of Africa’s population is composed of the youth, who are persons below 25 years of age, and that is why all policy decisions must give them due consideration.
“In Kenya alone, there are 17 million children in primary and secondary schools, giving a true picture of Africa’s youth bulge,” he said.
He said Africa is on the cusp of an economic transformation with the adoption of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) Agreement which will provide a common marketplace for over one billion people.
He said the common market arrangement will create enormous opportunities for Africa’s youth who are full of energy and innovative ideas.
The President called on Africa’s leaders to make continental integration a reality because it will create more avenues for economic growth and social integration.