Studies, Reviews and Research

Lessons Learned from Youth Employment Programmes in Kenya

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K4D, Knowledge, Evidence, and Learning for Development

The government of Kenya with the support of multilateral donors, especially the World Bank, has introduced several youth employment initiatives since the 2000s, including a large-scale public works programme. There is a mix of supply-side programmes which provide training to enhance the skills of the youth labour force and demand-side initiatives which facilitate entrepreneurship and provide business development services. Although the Kenyan economy is transforming slowly, there are structural impediments to creating higher productivity jobs (World Bank, 2016a) especially for the youth. The literature calls for youth employment programmes to adopt a demand-side approach which stimulates job creation and encompasses support for labour-intensive industries which generate wage-employment as well as self-employment initiatives in agriculture and the informal sector (Fox & Kaul, 2017).

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