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Nairobi, 30 Nov 09

Comprehensive intensive entrepreneurship, business planning and cooperative management trainings were recently launched at the Moonbeam Youth Training Centre, Mavoko, Nairobi.

The Training centre constructed with support from the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka aims at providing vocational skills training in building and low cost alternative construction technologies to youth from informal settlements. The young people benefiting from the training will undergo certification and apprenticeships in their respective skills.
The trainings which began in August have been made possible through collaboration between UN-HABITAT and Partners Kenya Youth and Business Trust, Kenya Women Land and Access Trust, and Kenya Ministry of Cooperatives. The trainings which will benefit youth from Kenya informal settlements of Kibera, Mavoko, Githongoro and Thika are a follow up of the Orientation training in business and organizational development.

Over the past years the unemployment rates among young people especially in developing regions of sub-Saharan and Asian countries has continued to rise at alarming rates. According to the UN-HABITAT State of the World Cities Report 2008/2009 it is estimated that youth unemployment grew by 3.8 percent despite global youth growth population of 13.2 percent between 1995-2005. While these rates are alarming, the situation for youth from informal settlements is pathetic as most of them lack adequate trainings, skills and opportunities that make them employable.

In an attempt to confront youth unemployment and underemployment, UN-HABITAT Youth Empowerment Programme initiated a youth urban-led development which recognizes young people as active participants in achieving sustainable urbanization. The programme seeks to empower the capacities of the young people from informal settlements through vocational training and skills development. These will increase youth employment opportunities and improve their entrepreneurship and employability in the competitive labor markets.

The Intensive training programmes in entrepreneurship, will introduce to the youth the approaches for incorporating business management skills in the construction enterprises or self help groups formed. The ultimate goal is to enhance youth capacities to form and run viable, competitive and sustainable enterprises. These help young people grow in their skills as well as improve on their livelihoods with those of their communities while contributing towards good urban governance and sustainable urbanization.

The financial sustainability of the youth will not however be achieved without proper business management. For this reason the training programme gives the youth the capacities to identify opportunities and manage their own enterprises. At the end of the first training, the youth trainees developed a business plan and formed two Construction Brigades KIMA (Kibera-Mavoko) and MAKIKI (Mavoko-Kibera-Kilimanjaro). The construction brigades are currently in the process of being formalized.

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