The Ngazi Youth Empowerment Project has been officially launched in Busia County by H. E Sospeter Ojaamong, the Governor of The County Government of Busia. The project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland aims at creating sustainable structures to empower the youth in supporting the social and economic development of their communities

Speaking at the launch, Ms. Constantine Obuya, the Executive Director of The African Center for Women Information and Communication Technology (ACWICT) said the target beneficiaries of the project are standard 8 drop-outs, who enter into the job market without any requisite skills and hence are locked out of the employment circle increasing the burden of youth unemployment in the country.

“Having dropped out of primary schools, 90% of these youth enter the construction sector, and despite the many opportunities the industry presents, 84% of them lack both the soft and technical skills to tap into,” said Ms Obuya.

To empower these youth, so that they are better able to find employment, The Ngazi YEP, will equip its beneficiaries with digital literacy skills, life skills, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills and a vocational course to endow them in setting up their own ICT enabled business enterprises and secure employment.

The project has received positive reviews from the people of Busia, as they say investing in their youth will bring forth development in the county. The Chief Officer, Education and Vocational Training, Mr. Joel Barua said that through the Ngazi Project, the youth will be potentially employable across the country boarders and the county is keen on ensuring retention of beneficiaries in the project and providing proper training conditions. He further added that to improve Vocational Training Institutions(VTI) in the county, the county has set aside Ksh. 14.5 million to purchase learning equipment and the first bunch of tools have already been distributed to the VITs in the county.

The Governor, H. E Sospeter Ojaamong, commended ACWICT for implementing a program that remembers a cohort of youth who have for a long time been treated as a forgotten lot.

“Ngazi Project will empower our youth with skills that will propel them into self-employment or into employment opportunities around the globe. My Government will provide it full support and also inject more funds to reach more beneficiaries,” said the Governor

In addition, he said the county is working on upgrading VTIs workshops with equipment of the latest technology to ensure quality training.

The Ngazi Youth Empowerment Project will be implemented for a period of three years in partnership with the Children and Youth Foundation of Finland, ACWICT and County Governments of Busia and Trans Nzoia.