Youth Empowerment

Young people in Kenya today live in complex and challenging times. They experience myriad of difficulties in initial workforce entry.

We work to address the challenges faced by highly potential but disadvantaged women and youth to improve their education, employment, health and leadership opportunities reaching 25,000 women and youth impacting over 250,000 of their significant others annually.

Since 2007, ACWICT has been implementing successful youth empowerment programs that target young people in their transition point from primary school/high school/vocational and/or tertiary education to the world of work.

Ensuring a good match between the skills young people have and labor market needs is our top priority. At ACWICT we believe that provision of education, and productive employment or income generating opportunities are the surest ways of improving our youth’s social and economic standing.

 We provide programs that are demand driven empowering the youth with employable skills through in-person, in-class training and self-study. At least 80% of the young people trained are placed into jobs, internships and apprenticeship and entrepreneurs linked to financial mechanisms.

Our strength is on our curriculum. ACWICT has a radiant and scalable curriculum for different cohorts of youth participating in the program equipping them with technical skills (IT and vocational skills), coding skills, online work skills, life skills – at work place, day to day life skills and reproductive health, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

Ngazi - Aims at creating sustainable structures for soci-economic empowerment of 1000 std 8 leavers in Trans-Nzoia and Busia counties, along with vocational training institutions.  Read More

Vusha Youth Empowerment Programme – Seeks to empower high school graduates from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds with digital literacy, online work, entrepreneurship and life skills in Kenya. Read More

Vusha Girls - Empowers young women from high school/ vocational/tertiary education with employable skills to reduce their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS infections.

Coding for Employability - Equips school students, std 8 leavers and high school graduates with mobile app development skills to promote their interest in pursuing careers in computer science related fields. Read more

TukoWorks - Promotes entrepreneurship prospects of university students and out-of-school youth through sign-ups to the TukoWorks portal. Read more

Intel She Will Connect – Trained 1,600 out of school young women in Digital Literacy and Online Work skills. Read more

Aspire Woman – Empower high school/ vocational/tertiary education with Technical skills (IT), entrepreneurship and soft skills for employability. Read more

ACWICT is recognized for its best practices in recruitment, training, placements and integrating reproductive health into youth employability training.

Our success in youth employability programs has earned us networks, strategic partnerships and alliances with key international development partners, national and county governments, national technology companies, public/ private universities in Kenya, TVETs, NGOs and community based organizations.
Through years of experience, ACWICT has established a solid employer partner network that supports our job placement component.

Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

  • Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries
  • Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors
  • Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
  • By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
  • By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training


Youth unemployment remains one of the greatest challenges facing Kenya today. It is estimated that 75 percent of Kenya’s population of about 40 million people is under the age of 30 years and 22 percent being between the ages of 15 to 24 years[1]. Young people in Kenya today live in complex and challenging times. They experience myriad of difficulties in initial workforce entry. In Kenya, it is estimated that 750,000 young people enter the workplace annually, in spite of the growing numbers 67% of youth are unemployed and only 22% of women employed. The problem of unemployment is attributed to lack of skill sets required by the current job market, and statistics show that primary and secondary graduates account for 82% of the unemployed because they do not have training other than formal schooling. This means that youth unemployment is not just about limited employment opportunities but also lack of employable skills. [1] 2010 Census Report

Youth unemployment is higher than the overall national unemployment rate. While the latter is around 10% it goes as high as 35% for youth, depending on the age group. According to the UNDP study, 80% of the currently 2.3 million unemployed are young people between 15 and 34 years.

Data clearly show that youth unemployment is highest among young people around the age of 20 years. Young people at the age of 15 to 16 years start with a high unemployment rate, but unemployment is significantly growing at the age of 18

Youth unemployment is high in both urban and rural areas. However, the unemployment rate is significantly higher in urban than in rural areas. Up to the age of 22, the unemployment rate for urban youth stays above 50% peaking at the age of 18 with above 60%. In rural areas on the other hand unemployment stays below 30% at all times, with highest figures around 27% between the ages 18 and 22. This can also be explained by migration pattern, as young unemployed leave the rural areas in search for opportunities in the cities as they grow older.

Unemployment is higher among young women than among young men. Overall, young women are more likely to be unemployed, and less likely to be employed, particularly in formal wage employed. However, their unemployment rate, still some 10% higher than for males, also gets down after the age of 25 because an increasing share of female youth drop out of the labour force and become “home-makers”

Rural females are by far the largest group of unemployed youth, followed by urban females. Urban males are the smallest group. All groups peak in their early 20ies, and the gap between the groups is widest at this peak. At the age of 22, the number of unemployed rural women is four times the number of unemployed urban men.

Unemployment and household income show an inverse proportional relationship. Unemployment rates are lower with higher household income and vice-versa.  Youth from poor households have access constraint to both formal and informal employment.

Unemployment rates are highest in North Eastern, Coast and Nairobi. The actual number of unemployed youth, on the other hand, is highest in Rift Valley, followed by Nairobi, Coast and Eastern. There are indications that a significant number of youth migrate from Western province to Nairobi at the age of 15 to 20. Nyanza shows out migration from the age of 25 years onwards.