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The Experience of the City Council of Nairobi in Youth Employment. Presented at the Breakout Session on Building Trade Capacities and Attracting Foreign Direct Investment and Developing Sustainable Livelihood Programs Africities: The Role of Local Government in Youth Employment.

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the experience of the city council of nairobi in youth employment
The Experience of the City Council of Nairobi in Youth Employment

Presented at the Breakout Session on Building Trade Capacities and Attracting Foreign Direct Investment and Developing Sustainable Livelihood Programs

Africities: The Role of Local Government in Youth Employment

Daniel Ngari,

City Council of Nairobi,

Social Services and Housing Department

Community Development

youth employment the role city council of nairobi
Youth Employment, the Role City Council of Nairobi
  • The current system of Local Government in Kenya is codified in the Local Government Act Cap 265 of the Laws of Kenya and the subsequent amendments. Local Authorities are either urban or rural. Urban Local Government consists of City, Municipal and Town Council. Rural local government is provided by County Councils which are the residual authorities for areas not falling under one of the Urban Authorities.
  • The Local Authorities in Kenya are charged with the responsibility of providing to residents diverse services. These include essential services like water, physical planning (roads, drains, walkways) Social Services (Education, Health, Environmental, Community Development, Trading Outlets etc). These services are provided to all residents whether children, Youths or adults.
slide3
It is imperative to point out from the onset that the roles and the functions of the local authorities have diminished over time due to the shrinking resource base.
  • Over the years, local authorities together with other Government Agencies, Non-Governmental and International Organizations have played a leading role in provision of services to the people. One of the key areas where they offer services is the informal settlements or slums as they are popularly known.
  • City Council of Nairobi through various initiatives has come up with innovative programmes in the effort to address the youth’s economic needs, health interventions, especially those aimed at reproductive health and alleviating the spread of HIV/AIDS and drug/substance abuse among the youth, environmental programmes, character building programmes, literacy, vocational training, sports and recreational as well as social-cultural programmes. These activities contribute directly to employment creation at the City level and in its environs
slide4

YOUTH AND GOVERNANCE

  • The Council is working closely with Young People to promote the values of good governance, a just and tolerant society, promotion of transparency and accountability and a spirit of nationhood and patriotism among young people and act as a channel of promoting values of conscientiousness, inclusiveness, selflessness, volunteerism and pursuit of good conduct. This will enhance a culture of self-reliance that is crucial in enterprise development.
  • The Junior Council Process under the auspices of City Council of Nairobi will be launched after the City Council adopts the Youth Policy. This is a way of promoting democracy and good governance among youth.
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THE YOUTH RESOURCE CENTRE

  • The City Council of Nairobi established the One Stop Youth Information Resource Centre in its Department of Social Service and Housing in collaboration with UN – Habitat and other partners in the youth development field towards enhancing decent and productive employment opportunities for the youth of Nairobi. This was after the deliberations and discussions that started in Durban, South Africa in the year 2000, which were majority supporting safer cities ideologies. This bore fruits after holding several meetings with both the City Council of Nairobi as one of the Local Authority, the Private Sector/NGOs and UN-Habitat as the main sponsor.
slide6
YOUTH AND POVERTY REDUCTION
  • The unemployment crisis requires us to overhaul the laws in this country to give the youth a chance and the necessary financial support. An environment that will enable the youth to pursue self-help initiatives for self-employment is also required. The Council through the Department of Social Services has laid down some strategies that attempt to reduce poverty afflicting the Youth.
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Community Development Services assists the young people in Group formation and in initiating Income Generating Activities. We are working with closely to 2000 active youth groups in this field. We provide them with community education seminars (on leadership skills, innovativeness, technical skills), on exchange studies/ programmes, promotion of products (through ASK International Trade Fare, and with several Non – Governmental Organizations), we as well act as a Linkages to financial institutions ranging from Micro- Finance Institutions, NGOs, banks and a range of financial institutions. Assist in the waiver of municipal service charges to organized and Registered Community Based Income Generating Projects. These projects include cottage industries in weaving, basketry, knitting, tie and dye, tailoring.
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In the Street vendors programme, young business people are allocates areas in some of the open spaces neighboring the Central Business District to operate their businesses. There are 13,000 young people allocated these spaces in the last four years alone.
  • YOUTH AND CRIME
  • The Council is working with UN Habitat- Safer Cities Programme on Crime Prevention Programme as a way of discussing security issues among the Communities and promoting good citizenry by youth through the creation of local counseling networks and establishing prevention measures to youth crime and violence. This develops a conducive business environment for not only foreign investors but local investors as well.
slide9
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
  • To address the issues of youth empowerment and participation among young people at the city level, a Citywide Youth Policy has been formulated to act as a guide and hence assist the young people in developing their lives. The Policy will: Involving the youth at all levels of governance and in decision-making processes. Ensure that affirmative action for youth participation is in place at every level. Encourage the youth to engage in debate on economic, political and social issues. Establish a Youth Trust Fund to cater for the financial needs of the youth. Encourage the youth to take up leadership positions. Provide training in entrepreneurial, leadership and management skills for the youth and their organizations. In addition, encourages the youth to stand up against all forms of injustice and discrimination. The policy is going through the relevant Council Committee for adoption.
slide10
In the Vocational/Technical Institutions, the Council provides skills training to the youths in its 12 Centers such as leatherwork, catering, tailoring, and carpentry through our various training institutions whereby about 500 students’ graduates every year.
slide11
YOUTH AND GOVERNANCE
  • The Council is working closely with Young People to promote the values of good governance, a just and tolerant society, promotion of transparency and accountability and a spirit of nationhood and patriotism among young people and act as a channel of promoting values of conscientiousness, inclusiveness, selflessness, volunteerism and pursuit of good conduct. This will enhance a culture of self-reliance that is crucial in enterprise development.
  • The Junior Council Process under the auspices of City Council of Nairobi will be launched after the City Council adopts the Youth Policy. This is a way of promoting democracy and good governance among youth.
slide12
YOUTH AND LEADERSHIP
  • Youth empowerment is about facilitating the youth to forge partnerships with other groups in society; instilling a sense of ownership in the efforts to improve their well-being; and building their capacity to realize their aspirations and boost self-motivation as leaders. The youth are the best resource for promoting development and they are agents of change in meeting their own challenges and solving own problems if they are given a chance to take leadership in the development processes.
  • The council understands that empowering the youth requires an economic and social base; political will; adequate resources and a supportive legal and administrative framework; a stable environment of equality, peace and democracy; access to knowledge, information and skills and a positive value system. And, that they can make free choices in life, take action based on their decisions and accept responsibility for their action. Through various leadership training programme and their involvement at the One Stop Youth Centre initiatives, the Council provides that much needed facilitation of enhancing Youth Leadership skills.
slide13
YOUTH ARTS AND CULTURE
  • Art is an expression of a people’s beliefs, values, appreciation, beauty and culture.Culture, on the other hand, is a definition of a people - their lives, values, aspirations and beliefs. Culture reflects the livelihood of a people. It is by a culture that one can judge a community - their joy, pain, hope, beliefs and values.
  • Welfare & Recreation Programme facilitate sporting and recreational facilities, cultural activities, and other social activities, which in turn facilitate generation of income by these youth. Other relevant services provided in this programme includes, Provision of community halls and open fields for various activities such as exhibiting the artifacts produced by the youth, organize sales promotions for products and services, as training venues among other activities.
slide14
YOUTH AND LIFE PLANNING SKILLS
  • Study findings have revealed that the majority of street Youth and those who drop out of school come from the slum communities. The deplorable living conditions force the young people out of school and into the streets making them susceptible to many social vices including child labour and drug abuse. The Council through its various programmes provides young leaders with Life Planning Skills in Reproductive Health, Empowerment, Governance, Careers exploration, Entrepreneurship and in Education.
  • The Council also provides Youth literacy classes in non-formal schools. The Council provide the infrastructure and man power for the Youth literacy classes found in Community Centres, which provide education to youth, who fails to gain admission in formal schools, those who drop out of formal schools due to un-affordability of school fees, as well as those who have undergone through the rehabilitation process after being rescued from the street and are over the primary schooling going age.
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In conclusion, a youth policy is a commitment by the council to the young women and men of this city, that will enable them, become agents of transformation and leaders of today and not tomorrow, as it has been the tradition. It is an acknowledgement that young people are a significant and valuable part of the community with specific and identifiable needs. This framework will enable the Youth take a leadership role and be actively involved in solving the unemployment crises in this city.
  • This simply means that the youth, their desires, values, and goals toward self-determination in assessment are primary and not just program goals and objectives.  The policy goals and objectives are mainly important to the degree that they assist the youth in reaching their self-determined goals. 

Thank you