KCB’s youth skilling initiative 2jiajiri goes regional

KCB Group is set to roll out 2Jiajiri programme in Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda as the lender expands its youth empowerment and job creation initiative regionally. The lender aims to implement the plan in South Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo later this year to accelerate job creation among the youth in the markets it operates.

Today, the KCB Foundation, in partnership with the German Government—implemented by GIZ— graduated 3,500 graduates in the construction sector at an event that was graced by President William Ruto.

2Jiariri seeks to create 1.5 million jobs

“We are deliberate and committed to change the youth story by creating more jobs working with corporates and other partners. We will incorporate the youth in all government projects, beginning with the housing agenda that seeks to create opportunities for one million youth,” noted Dr Ruto.

2Jiajiri aims to create at least 1.5 million direct and indirect jobs while helping to set up 30,000 businesses over the next five years.

KCB Group Chairman Dr. Joseph Kinyua said: “We are giving youths what they deserve, to dignify the informal sector; which we believe will boost their morale in contributing to East Africa’s growth agenda. Access to skills and finances will help them buy tools and acquire knowledge that will give them dignity in their work. We are looking at raising the next generation of highly skilled and reliable masons, electricians, carpenters, hairdressers and mechanics among other trades.”

The graduating youth were trained in the building and construction sector courtesy of a three-year regional partnership between GIZ’s Employment for Skills Development in Africa (E4D) Programme, and KCB Foundation.

Read also: KCB in Sh1 billion SME guarantee plan with Sweden

Nurturing bright-eyed young entrepreneurs

KCB Group CEO Paul Russo said: “We are seeing a growing crop of bright-eyed young entrepreneurs whose passion is contagious and whose perspective of the world and the future is always exciting. We are giving them meaningful opportunities to start and grow their business.” Mr. Russo added.

Locally, the KCB Foundation/GIZ programme has resulted in the creation of 1,257 businesses, 7,272 jobs directly and indirectly and supporting over 10,000 households.

“We leverage an integrated approach that includes upskilling to make small and medium-sized businesses more competitive, so they can meet the growing demand for supplies and services in the market. Ultimately, our goal is to generate more decent and sustainable employment in East Africa,” said GIZ E4D Kenya Team Leader, Mr. Thomas Jaeschke.

Launched in 2016, the 2jiajiri program has created over 119,000 jobs. The programme focuses on formalizing the informal sector and growing micro-enterprises to a place where they can employ an average of five other young people. To date, 22,959 youth have received technical and entrepreneurial training and Kes259 million disbursed as loans to enable youth to set up their business enterprises through provision of capital.

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