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Nakuru youth to reap from development partnerships

Nakuru County government will continue engaging with development partners towards empowering the youthful population into becoming job-creators.

Governor Susan Kihika said her government was collaborating with foreign development partners including International Labour Organization, Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom to promote the youth agenda through consistent trainings and mentorship to equip the youths with life skills to enable them eke a living.

The governor also appreciated the contribution made by the local private sector players including the Stanbic Bank, Kenya Cooperative Bank, Nakuru business Association among others whom she said have set up Small and Medium Enterprise fund to finance the youthful business community in addition to offering them entrepreneur scholarships and grants to start businesses.

While acknowledging that unemployment was one of the major challenges afflicting the youth population across the country, Kihika promised to continue collaborating with both local and international investors to create an enabling environment for job creation through youth empowerment.

She said her administration was putting in place relevant legal frameworks and policies that promote a conducive environment for job-creation among all groups of the local population including women, youths and persons living with disabilities among other vulnerable groups.

“My government has already drafted Nakuru County Youth Policy that will address gaps identified by stakeholders in the youth empowering process,” said Kihika.

She also said her government had established a directorate that deals with the coordination of youth affairs under the Department of Youth, Gender, Culture, Sports and Social Services to oversee the empowerment and employment creation among the youths in the county.

The governor disclosed that plans were underway to establish Nakuru County Youth Engagement Service, which would preside over recruitment of youths from all the 55 wards in the county who would undergo a one-year intensive mentorship programme.

The governor at the same time applauded the contribution of foreign development partners in job creation in the county saying, The Netherlands was a key trade partner in agribusiness where the county was exporting cut-flowers and horticultural produce.

Kihika said they were looking forward towards continued association with The Netherlands in value addition partnerships through setting up of factories adding that the county was in the process of establishing a textile production hub at Menengai to equip students from vocational and tertiary institutions with experiences required in the job market.

The governor also recognized other different agencies that the county was linking up with to create employment for the youths including the International Labour Organization which she said was helping in creating decent jobs resulting from relevant skills provided by selected vocational training institutions.

She also hailed Denmark which was said to be indulging Nakuru youths in creative sports and constructive dialogues in addition to engaging them in entrepreneurship and placements in work sectors.

By Esther Mwangi and Rachael Wangari

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