Stimulating agribusiness entrepreneurship to solve youth unemployment in Kenya
This policy brief (PDF) by IDS analyses the potential of agribusiness to address youth unemployment in Kenya and calls for increased collaboration between agribusiness owners, government and educationalists through entrepreneurship development. Currently, 65 per cent of Kenyan youth are unemployed. With a growing number of youth looking for jobs, the agricultural sector is likely to continue to be the dominant source of employment in Kenya. There has been minimal collaboration between the public and private sectors in reinforcing agricultural development in these initiatives, even though the private sector is the major employer. This is problematic because the agricultural sector has the capacity to provide entry-level jobs for the growing number of lower skilled and basically educated young people. In addition, Kenya is already seeing increased domestic demand for agricultural produce due to rural–urban migration. While agriculture obviously presents a great employment opportunity for young people, the majority of Kenya’s youth remain disinterested in traditional farming and lack the necessary skills to venture into innovative technological agro-entrepreneurial activities and the social capital to enter into agro-processing value chains. The theoretically driven basic education curriculum in Kenya, which does not focus on practical skills, leaves the majority of youth without the entrepreneurial skills to transition from traditional farming into agribusiness. Therefore, entrepreneurship education and training is vital in preparing young people for the job opportunities that could be available to them and for the evolving nature of the agricultural sector. Policy recommendations are: 1) Reinforce business-led collaborations among key government institutions; 2) Promote partnerships secondary schools and medium-sized agricultural enterprises; 3) Involve the private sector in the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development’s (KICD) curricula reforms.