EDITORIAL: Tap youth to grow economy

The Economist Intelligence Unit projects that Kenya’s labour force will nearly triple to 48 million by 2050 from the current 18 million.

A lot can happen in the next 35 years that would render this prediction moot, but should things pan out as forecast, the Jubilee alliance and subsequent governments should put policies in place that ensure the country reaps only positive outcomes from its numerous energetic workers.

There is concern at the moment that Kenya’s population growth is outstripping economic growth. This, coupled with the high unemployment rate largely wrought by substandard skills training, has many people on the edge in fear of our young men and women turning rogue and engaging in nefarious activities. This needn’t be the case.

Our educational institutions must change the way they operate and stop churning out half-baked graduates.

Initiatives like the Youth Fund are already proving that with the right training and access to capital, embracing entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency is a path the majority of young people are willing to tread.

By 2050, a large number of countries in Europe and Asia will be in the midst of declining population numbers, negatively impacting growth.

If we play our cards right and leverage on our increased workforce, we should be able to give them a run for their money.