USIU-Africa to help empower youth in Nyandarua County

By Salome Asena, Virginia Thuku and Peter Kamau

Youth from Nyandarua County are set to benefit from USIU-Africa’s Global Agribusiness Management and Enterprise (GAME) Center’s projects that it is implementing at the county level. Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia held talks the Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Zeleza to discuss a possible partnership between the two institutions and forge a way forward.

Speaking during the meeting, Prof. Zeleza noted the importance of including the youth in development projects that will benefit and provide a decent source of income to the youth. He further said that both national and county governments must empower the youth to ensure that they become a demographic dividend and not a demographic disaster. He also expressed commitment by the University in enabling the partnership through the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Extension, other departments and the entire University community.

Governor Kimemia said the envisioned partnership will improve management, enterprise and leadership capacity of youthful agribusiness entrepreneurs across Nyandarua. “The capacity building will focus on innovation, digital literacy, market skills, efficient production and research in the agricultural sector as well as creating market linkages," he said.

Some of the initiatives that USIU-Africa is already implementing include the three-year Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities Project (KYEOP) program focusing on Nyandarua, Nakuru, Kitui, Nairobi, Machakos and Kiambu Counties which began in 2018. The Program seeks to build capacity for over 35,000 youth by enabling them take responsibilities for their lives, actions, and change their mindset to be ready for technical skill (vocational) training and entrepreneurship.

The other project that is currently under implementation is the youth entrepreneurship program in agribusiness that is targeting 1, 200 young across Kenya, including those residing in Nyandarua County.

Additionally, the Coding for Employment program will equip 1,800 youth from all over the country with skills in ICT and entrepreneurship. The project which is hosted USIU-Africa, also involves mentoring participants and linking them with other companies that will provide employment opportunities, and - for entrepreneurs - market for their services. As a result, the youth will have the tools and skills to create businesses in the digital space and employ their peers in their counties. The County government can tap into any of these projects that target the youth in various sectors.

Nyandarua County’s Deputy Governor Mrs. Cecilia Mbuthia, who was also in attendance, pledged her government’s commitment to build on the success stories emerging from the program. "We will build on the work already done by USIU-Africa to ensure seamless execution of the program,” she said.

Other areas of partnership to be explored between the University and the county government include training in monitoring and evaluation, needs-driven interventions, provision of grants and proposal development.

A technical team to explore further areas of mutual interest will be established in the next two weeks, and will produce a report that is expected to lead to the development of a Memorandum of Understanding between both parties.

Also present was Deputy Vice Chancellor - Academic & Student Affairs Prof. Amb. Ruthie Rono, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Extension Prof. Amos Njuguna, and County Executive Committee Member for Youth, Sports and the Arts Hon. Dominic Ngugi.

Article Documents and Presentations

Social Media