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European Union to partner with Kericho County in Tackling Unemployment

The European Union (EU) has expressed interest in partnering with the Kericho government in dealing with the increasing number of joblessness among the youths within the County, by offering opportunities that would enable them secure job opportunities or venture into self-employment.

The European Union Ambassador to Kenya Henriette Geiger who held talks with the Kericho County Governor Dr Eric Mutai at his office deliberated on the benefits of the European Union’s Erasmus Scholarships opportunity which, if utilised, would enable the jobless youth acquire skills and knowledge relevant in today’s job market.

She said the Erasmus Programme had positive effects on educational, social, personal and professional development that would positively impact the Kericho youth by securing competitive career opportunities.

The EU Ambassador noted that the programme enhanced knowledge, skills, and attitudes, boosts confidence and independence while improving employability.

“The scholarship also stimulates curiosity and innovation fostering a better understanding of other people,” added Amb Geiger

The “Erasmus” programme was originally established by the European Union in 1987. It was aimed to promote closer cooperation between universities and higher education institutions across Europe. This meant setting up an organised and integrated system of cross-border student interchange.

Amb. Geiger also underscored the importance of horticulture to the growth of the economy saying that unskilled youth needed to be trained and assisted in engaging in agri-businesses for them to enhance their livelihoods.

“The EU has projects with young people and women to commercialise agriculture through loans, grants and skills training. There can be good money in Agri-business with the right skills and right assistance. It is important that all agricultural projects are sustainable to mitigate climate change and protect the environment,” remarked Amb. Geiger.

The EU Ambassador who addressed the press at the County Government offices pointed out three main challenges she was presented to by the Governor including youth unemployment, high incidents of cancer and climate change impacts as the main issues affecting the residents.

Meanwhile, the Governor has revealed that through a partnership with the EU, a research centre would be established at the University of Kabianga for more studies to be carried out on mitigation of the negative effects of climate change especially on the Mau Forest, which covers parts of Kericho County.

“The Mau Forest tower is a resource that must be protected not only for the good of Kenya, but the whole world,” said Dr. Mutai

The governor and the Ambassador later on proceeded to the University of Kabianga where they graced the international Multidisciplinary conference themed,”innovation and practices for research and sustainable goals.”

Speaking during the conference, the Governor made a request to the EU Ambassador to extend donor support to the institution and the county government for the establishment of a School of Medicine and Cancer Centre saying the county government had disposable land within its vicinity.

The Governor further committed that his administration would offer the necessary support to the institution as it grows to a world class facility.

By Kibe Mburu and James Kipees

 

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