PRESENTS



By Wakini Njogu
Illustrated by Ernest Kilonzo Click anywhere to continue
Between April and June 2020, 1.7 million Kenyans lost their jobs.
The youth are the most affected.
Age: 15-19 No. of Unemployed: 493,279

  • These are high school graduates
  • Primary or secondary school dropouts
  • People who weren’t lucky to progress to secondary school due to lack of fees
  • They are mainly in the informal sector
  • There are 1.2 million employed Kenyans in this age group

Age: 20-24 No. of Unemployed: 1,213,818

  • This is the largest unemployed population
  • Majority are fresh graduates hoping to join the job market
  • Haven’t joined higher education due to lack of fees
  • Low employment rate due to low levels of education

Age: 25-29 No. of Unemployed: 1,099,056

  • Fresh graduates
  • Often dismissed for lack of work experience
  • Opportunities available to them are not related to their area of study

Age: 30-34 No. of Unemployed: 618,014

  • Suffer retrenchments due to economic pressures
  • Constrained due to familial responsibilities, especially women
  • This age group makes up the highest number of employed Kenyans at 2.6m

Age: 35-39

No. of Unemployed: 416,606
Age: 40-44

No. of Unemployed: 303,473
Age: 45-49

No. of Unemployed: 243,715
Age: 50-54

No. of Unemployed: 128,503
Age: 55-59

No. of Unemployed: 69,772
Age: 60-64

No. of Unemployed: 49,928
Source: KNBS Quarterly Labour Force Report
When President Uhuru Kenyatta was seeking re-election in 2017 under the Jubilee Party, he promised to create 1.3 million jobs annually and to work with county governments to establish at least one industry in every county. The manifesto further promised to establish a government-sponsored apprenticeship programme of up to 12 months for all graduates from universites and Technical, Vocational and Education Training Institutes (TVET).

In 2018, 840,600 news jobs were generated, 744,100 being from the informal sector. According to the Economic Survey, a total of 846,300 new jobs were generated in the economy in 2019. 767,900 of these were from the informal sector.

Click to find out employment initiatives by a Kenyan President
Jomo Kenyatta
Kenya’s First President
Daniel Arap Moi
Kenya’s Second President
Mwai Kibaki
Kenya’s Third President
Uhuru Kenyatta
Kenya’s Fourth President

The 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census indicates that a total of 506,109 were in TVET, 470,983 in University and 18,750 in Adult Basic Education during the survey period. This group will be graduating at a time when the government has frozen hiring of new civil servants for the next three years, including internships.

Kenya is staring at a mounting crisis of youth unemployment even as the country faces tough economic times. Kenyan graduates are increasingly competing for few formal jobs, leading to a mismatch of careers and skills. We followed four young Kenyan graduates who have faced different hurdles while looking for employment. These are their stories.

Michael Oyier, 26
Graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from Maseno University. Currently works under the Kazi Mtaani initiative in Mathare. Earns Ksh 450 per day.
Viona Kurui, 33 years old
Viona studied Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing) at Baraton University and graduated in 2015. She now runs a food kiosk at her home town in Kabarnet after years of job searching.
Edwin Lulu, 24 years old
Edwin graduated in 2019 with a Diploma in Orthopaedic Technology from Kenya Medical Training College. He works as a supervisor at a bottle recycling company.
Bertrand Mussoko, 30 years old
Batrand was working as a PR consultant in Dubai. When the COVID-19 crisis struck in the UAE, he was retrenched and had to fly back home. Together with a colleague who lost her job as well in Dubai, they started a poultry farming business.




STORY BY:
WAKINI NJOGU

ILLUSTRATED BY:
ERNEST KILONZO

VIDEO PRODUCTION:
PATRICK GATUA
COLLINS ODHIAMBO
DUNCAN KANILI

VIDEO EDITING:
COLLINS ODHIAMBO

SOCIAL MEDIA PRODUCERS:
DUNCAN KANILI
WHITNEY MUHADI

WEB DEVELOPER:
SAM AMIRA

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:
ASHA MWILU


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Edwin and Bertrand’s
stories here