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Gov’t to boost young innovators from the Informal Sector

The Ministry of Education through the State Department for Post Training and Skills Development (PTSD) has embarked on a drive to support young innovators from the Jua Kali sector and technical graduates to enhance their employability and productivity.

The State Department in collaboration with the Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations (KNFJKA), held a National Entrepreneurship Exhibitions at the Kisumu National Polytechnic, Monday, to create a platform for successful Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) to showcase the potential of entrepreneurship by displaying their products and services.

The expo whose theme is ‘Shifting from Job Seeking to Job Creation’ is aimed at fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, attitude and culture among the youth.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, the PTSD Principal Secretary (PS), Alfred Cheruiyot, said the young adults in the informal sector have many skills that need identification and upscaling for them to benefit from the knowledge they possess.

“There is a deep rooted culture of job-seeking instead of job creation and self-employment amongst job seekers. Hence, we need as a country to draw young people towards entrepreneurship, if we are to succeed in addressing the challenge of youth unemployment,” said Cheruiyot.

According to the State official, empowering the youth with entrepreneurial skills enhances their employability, maintain competitiveness and contribute to socio-economic growth, which can help in advancing Kenya’s Vision 2030 agenda of providing a globally competitive and prosperous country.

Local inventors drawn from the Jua Kali industry and the students of Technical and Vocational institutions (TVETs) and universities across the country, attended the one-day exhibition to benefit from the mentorship and expertise of experienced entrepreneurs, as they embark on their entrepreneurship pathways.

Cheruiyot commended the skilled youths for taking time to participate in such exhibitions, which he noted is a reflection of their growing interest and support for entrepreneurship.

“Take advantage of the opportunities presented by this Exhibition. As you listen to the mentorship talks and tour the exhibition booths, you will be impressed with just how strong, resilient and dynamic our MSEs are. I hope this will inspire you to develop your ideas into businesses towards creating self-employment and improving your livelihoods,” urged the PS.

The KNFJKA Chief Executive Officer, Richard Muteti, stressed on the need for the relevant stakeholders to invoke a national conversation for innovations to transform the youths from being job seekers to employers.

“In Kenya, the Jua Kali sector employs 80 percent of the total working force, and if the industry is well supported, we can generate millions of meaningful and dignified job opportunities within a year,” said Muteti.

The CEO underscored the importance of technology and innovations in any growing economy as it catalyzes productivity and industrialization.

Muteti further advised the young innovators to trademark and patent their inventions so as to enjoy maximum benefits and avoid copyright infringement.

The National Skills Exhibition will also take place at the Kabete and Mombasa National Polytechnics this week.

By Robert Ojwang’ and Joseph Ouma


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