The 2011/2012 Budget and Youth Unemployment
June 10th, 2011
The 2011/2012 budget estimates read on 8th June 2011, by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, promises more hope and relief to the Kenyan youth most especially on the issue of Youth Unemployment. To address this, the government focused more on Kazi Kwa Vijana and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, which are some of the initiatives advocated for under the Agenda 4 of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act (NARA).
The youth being a susceptible group have been affected greatly by massive unemployment. To cushion this, the government has considered to go on with the scaling up of youth empowerment programmes in order to ensure the youth get access to descent employment. The government has set aside kshs.210 million to go towards labour- intensive works and social services, bringing the total labour-intensive works and social services total expenditure to ksh.1.8 billion in 2011/2012 financial year. This will reduce the vulnerability of the unemployed youth through expansion and enhancement of the kazi Kwa vijana initiative. The additional amount of money will enhance the coverage of the programme and target youths aged between 18 – 35 years under kkv. It aims at putting money in the youth’s pockets while at the same time enhancing community access to social and economic infrastructure.
The Youth Enterprise Development fund has also been increased by ksh.385 Million. Through increased lending of this fund, it’s expected that more youth and youth groups will engage themselves in entrepreneurial activities thereby enhancing increased employability.
The budget also sought to address the challenge of young people being denied access to formal employment due to lack of experience. Many youths cannot access relevant internships to gain this experience. To address this, the government will engage the private sector in consultations on the best ways to extend tax breaks for firms offering internships and training placement for the youth, training and passing on the relevant work experience and enhancing the employability of youth. The minister urged hard working private firms under the leadership of KEPSA and KAM to reciprocate and avail opportunities for internship while also harnessing on the potential of the Kenyan youth.