Staying Ahead

Ehud Gachugu, Director of Kenyan Youth Empowerment Project

Ehud Gachugu, Project Director, KYEP (Kenyan Youth Empowerment Project) speaks to Kuza Biashara about KYEP and KEPSA‘s role in empowering the Kenyan youth, the challenges and the road ahead.

“KYEP not only provides training to young people with focus on key sectors like ICT, energy, tourism, manufacturing and MSA, but it also creates internship opportunities for them in private sector that may be important while seeking employment. As we attach the youth to these companies we are giving businessmen who have already made it in life an opportunity to contribute as mentors to the lives of young people who want to start their own business, who want to build their careers,” says Ehug Gachug talking about the mandate of KYEP.

Talking about the role KEPSA plays he adds, “KEPSA works with business membership organisations where it supports them in identifying the issues that are of national interest identifying the areas where there is need for private sector in the national dialogue. Looking at the economic growth and the national key factors, KEPSA is playing a critical role in key areas like infrastructure, finance, social development, ICT, education etc. to ensure they actually grow and provide direction as to how those sectors can be represented in areas of interest to them. KEPSA also engages in various forums with the President, the Prime Minister, the ministers and at the Speaker and various constituency levels to ensure that policies and the bills that are passed have the private sector voice in it.”

Are there challenges they face?

[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]The biggest challenge is the question of demand and the fact that KYEP is a pilot that tries to address issues of employment opportunities with the youth, there has been an overwhelming demand by the young people wanting to get in the project, but unfortunately we have very limited resources to carry out this mandate.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]

-Ehud Gachugu

He believes that the organization can help in the mandate in that the companies who are willing to provide internship opportunities are actually invited so that they can link the young people who are interested with getting experience to them. They are also seeking discussions with the departments that may have corporate social responsibility function to see how they can contribute to the exit strategy for the KYEP interns.

Ehud also shares his advice with the youth. “We need to start doing something, however small it is, I think it’s important that young people we reposition our mindsets towards starting our own businesses. It doesn’t have to be big, it could be small and you allow it to grow. Most importantly, young people must maintain peace. We have ceased to be called leaders of tomorrow; we are leaders of today, so we must demonstrate that leadership today for society to have confidence in us. Despite the many things we are doing, we are still very much responsible for the destiny of this country.

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