On 30th, the Cabinet Secretary for Treasury Dr. Henry Rotich read a long and outlined 2017/2018 National Budget to the nation and to the National Assembly.
The 2.62 trillion-shilling budget has been described by many as ‘bajeti ya mwananchi’ (the budget for the common man). The question is, was this really bajeti ya mwananchi or it was just rhetoric? Have things changed on the ground ever since the budget was read? The answer is no.
Of the 2.62 trillion shillings, how much was directed towards addressing the issue of unemployment among the youth for instance? According to the World Bank, in a report released four years ago, 25.5 million youth in Kenya are unemployed despite having the necessary skills. 25.5 million is not just a number, it is a worrying reality of the number of unemployed but skilled Kenyans on the streets.
Has the government ever taken this issue seriously? The answer is no. how much was allocated to the youth? The answer is nothing and I will show you why. 36 billion shillings were allocated to parliament, 18.1 billion shillings set aside for Judiciary, 2.3 billion shillings for public prosecutor’s office, 4 billion for Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, EACC, 75.6 billion shillings for Standard Gauge Railway. Say what? 75.6 billion shillings dumbed on SGR. Can you imagine that? SGR is more important than the more than 20 million unemployed youth.
I know the government will say that we have the National Youth Service program that is employing thousands of the Kenyan youth. Come on. We know what goes on at the NYS. The Kenyan youth is just an excuse for the cartels to fill their pockets with billions of the taxpayer’s monies. We still remember the NYS Scandal. Is anyone behind bars? No. I know the government will also say that they have allocated 1.6 billion shillings to the leather industry for the youth. That is a joke, right. Is the leather industry going to accommodate more than 20 million Kenyan youth?
“Kenyan youth need not to be looking up to the government for employment opportunities. I can assure you they will die trying. They need to realize that they have skills. They need to be innovative and device ways to earn a living through justifiable means,” said Mr. Emmanuel Soroba, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of FiveSok, a Kenyan online marketplace that now enables Kenyans with skills, both employed and unemployed, to earn an extra coin through hiring out their skills and expertise to potential buyers. The platform also allows Kenyans to find affordable experts ranging from Ksh 500 to Ksh 5000. The platform has been recognized for helping over 5000 Kenyan youth earn a living.