The youth employment bill that scores A on effort and F on reality.

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It has come to my sad realization that as a country, we have failed to think. We have failed to analyse what we facing as a country. I say this because for the past one week I have gone through the employment bill that has been sponsored by the TNA Nominated MP Sakaja Johnson and my heart is broken.

As a lawyer, I don’t not want to get into the legalese aspect of the bill. I believe I will loose the intended target audience. However as a struggling entrepreneur I would like to just analyse it like the ordinary hustler I am.

First, I give the Honourable Member an A for effort. Putting such a bill together isn’t easy and he deserves a kudos on the back. At least we are facing the right direction of thought and that is, tackling unemployment in the country. Question is, shall we move forward or backward? And for that I give the Nominated MP a D for the thought process.

Every youth deserves a shot at employment, whether by GOK or the private sector. Over the years, we have ignored the KEY areas that lead to growth of job opportunities. What my dear Friend Sakaja forgets is that GOK does not have enough slots for employment. That it has limited job creation capabilities. That in fact under the so called new constitution it should shrink to fit within the constitution. Sakaja is a brilliant young man with a promising political career BUT he needs to think outside the box. He needs to change his advisors. Pushing GOK to employ the youth just because they are youth is height of stupidity.

Unemployed youth Africa

The bill is wrong. Simple and clear. The bill should go back to the drawing board to incorporate the views of those of us who have had the chance to read, analyse and reach out to the MP for solutions. The bill is a recipe for disaster. It encourages laziness because it makes one believe that as youth, one
is entitled to a job. My question is, where are these jobs that Sakaja is trying to force GOK to give the youth?

The bill should instead focus on entrepreneurship. It should focus on amalgamating all the funds from youth fund to Uwezo fund to ensure that we fund entrepreneurs who will create the needed jobs. Currently job creators in Kenya are SMES, accounting for 82% of the jobs created every year. The bill should focus on creating an enabling environment that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to gain access to credit. We don’t want tenders. We don’t want favours. We want an environment that makes competition fair and square.

The bill should compel KRA to create incentives for entrepreneurs who have start ups and are creating jobs to enable them stabilise. The bill should look at reviewing the existing legislation on entrepreneurship and SMES to compel players in the financial eco-system to support SMES with mentorship and credit access. The bill should focus on groups like Nailab and iHub to support what they are doing to enable them scale.

The bill should focus on how the light industries of Kariobangi can be looped into the mainstream process of the macro economic aspect to give them the needed boost for growth. These light industries are the answer to all our job questions in this country. Not GOK. Focus should be on them. The bill should focus on the devolution aspect of job creation to empower entrepreneurs who desire to scale but can’t. It should focus on easing the means of doing business. It should focus on the processes of setting up a business from 33 days to under a day!. It should focus on ensuring that the tendering system focuses on SMES, however big the tender is.

The bill should go back to the basics. It should involve all the players in the job creators eco-system. It’s akin to putting the cart before the horse when we demand the youth to be employed yet the jobs aren’t there and the age cap is a nonsense issue. The bill needs to exploit the weaknesses in our manufacturing and light industries to see how we can change from an import country to an export country.

The youth need to be pushed to be solution providers giving us everything on a spoon just because I am youth is stupidity that makes the bill a non starter. Sakaja, if you really care for the Kenyan youth, then listen to what I have listed above. You will get all the accolades you deserve but your legacy will gather dust in the annals of parliament. We need to focus on mechanising agriculture and creating new manufacturing zones if we want to talk about jobs.

The bill should address the issue of where the jobs are first before demanding anyone to employ the youth.

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  • SokoAnalyst

    If only Sakaja had engaged some of us develop the bill so that for once we can a real shot at changing the fortunes of youth and moreso creating a needed environment for entrepreneurs.

  • SokoAnalyst I agree with the analysis. Allow me to add that part of the challenge we face with unemployment, especially youth unemployment,
    is our cultural reverence for white-collar over-credentialled
    employment. It is the rare secondary school that teaches the basic
    elements of entrepreneurship and, other than the super-focused
    Strathmore Business School, no public university comes even close to
    properly incorporating entrepreneurship as a skill in all students.
    Furthermore,
    we fear failure like it was the plague. If one comes up short on his
    KCSE or fails to graduate, we write them off as fools and failures.
    (These are the people we “consign” to the discipline forces, and look at
    where that has gotten us recently.) If one is trying different things
    and different careers and failing without improving, then there is
    something wrong with them. But where one learns from his failures and
    narrows down on his skillset, an entrepreneurial mindset might liberate
    him to greater things. Unless we are prepared to accept failure as the
    price we pay for discovering what we can and cannot do, all the “funds”
    in the world and all the legislative proposals under he sun wll not
    reverse the unemployment juggernaut.
    Finally, public
    policy should begin to move away from its penchant for legislative
    solutions to all problems. We do not rally need a law to promote the
    employment of the youth. If there are no jobs to be had because
    investment is in government paper, or in automated operations, or on
    “import/export”, no law will magically create the jobs needed.
    Government economic policy must of necessity be geared towards
    encouraging investments that might lead to either job creation or
    entrepreneurial ferment. That is not strictly a legislative process.

  • SokoAnalyst

    SDMaundu SokoAnalyst I wouldnt have put it better and this is why the bill has still birth because it fails to address the causative issues but the symptoms. Well put sir.

  • SokoAnalyst

    Am disappointed that all the key issues that everyone is raising online are missing in bill…SMH

  • thoggo

    I agree with the sentiments expressed in the article. Nobody is entitled to anything. The only way the youth can be helped by the government is by creation of a conducive environment to conduct business.

  • ay1m

    There is no logic behind denying older kenyans with families and responsibility in favor of youth. Also the kenyan govt is an equal opportunity employer who must not discriminate on age, sex or tribe. This bill does not meet the constitutional thresh hold in this regard.

  • SokoAnalyst

    Arnold, well put. Question is, will the proposer of the bill listen?

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  • Patrick Buyela

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  • Paty Buyelah

    Kenya youths unemployment has been a hard nut to crack.This is the same reason i tried to come up with a blog concentrating on alternative employment for youths across the world at lifeblogy.com