Young Africa Works to connect millions of young people to dignified work
President Uhuru Kenyatta answers questions at the official Launch of the Mastercard Programme “Youth Africa Works Kenya”/Courtesy

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 20 – Young Africa Works in Kenya, an initiative which aims to support five million young Kenyans to access dignified and fulfilling work over the next five years has been launched in Nairobi.

This initiative is a public-private partnership between the MasterCard Foundation, the private sector and the Government of Kenya which will provide billions of shillings in capital, business development services and market linkages to SMEs to support their growth.

Speaking at the launch, Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said this platform will assist the young people to unlock their potential and also transform their lives.

“This initiative will support Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVET) to improve quality of content and instruction, secondly it will build on Ajira digital program to provide work readiness, training and link young people to digitally-enabled work and increase access to work opportunities in the digital economy the third pillar of the program will enhance the creation growth of over 200,000 SMEs,” said President Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta said the government is committed towards ensuring that SMEs have easy access to credits which is a main challenge to scaling their businesses.

To start, the MasterCard foundation has committed Sh30 billion towards this initiative and will engage the private sector, including financial institutions to grow businesses and create more opportunities for young people.

This includes partnerships with Equity Group Foundation, Equity Bank Group, KCB Group and KCB Foundation, who will also provide financial literacy.

Also present was MasterCard CEO Reeta Roy who said that their main agenda is to connect young people to opportunities that will grow the economy and transform lives.

Roy said they are carrying out this program in 10 countries across Africa saying that they preferred to launch it in Kenya due to its vibrant economy.

“Kenya has a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, a strong private sector, and an enabling policy environment. Young Africa Works in Kenya builds on this momentum to prepare and connect young people to opportunities,” said Roy.