The youth in rural areas of Africa want to pursue opportunities in agriculture and professional services but have a limited access to education, finances and management skills. Shortfalls exist such as obtaining individual loans, training and skill-set diversity. To help the youth of East Africa, the focus need to be towards skills training, internships, small business development and technology innovation opportunities.
As a young person, I was excited about education, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurship. I was always told to go to school and get my education and was able to start the journey towards my dreams, visions and goals. For most young people in Africa, that’s not always the case. In Africa, most jobs that young people are looking for in urban areas are more services based but they don’t have all of the skills to perform them based on due to lack of education and training. The idea is that Youth Entrepreneurship Innovation Initiative will bridge the gap between young African people and the training mentors/programs needed to help them move forward.
I feel that there should be some thought given by African youth when it comes to deciding to stay in a rural area or migrate to the urban areas for work or business. It is time to ask the youth of Africa: “How can we help you?” Over the years, some of the barriers to youth succeeding in the sector are gender inequality and lack of access to resources and information. After our program launches, this will be a barrier of the past!
I would like to see a newly formed organization come together and create partnerships in the US and across Africa to provide professional services training, culture training and trades/agricultural training for young people. I will work with organizations to create programs, brand strategies and training by way of research and development grant projects based on the responses from Africa’s youth. This will inspire the youth and will positively impact them in the years to come. This is ultimately how we will expand economic opportunities for youth in East Africa.