Document Type



East African Institute


An estimated 78% of Kenya’s population is aged below 35 years (NCPD, 2017) with a median age of 19 years (World Population Review, 2019). This demographic structure can be either a valuable dividend or a risk to development (UNDP, 2013). One of the major downsides of the ‘youth bulge’ has been youth unemployment, which is both an economic and social challenge. According to the Kenya Youth Survey 2016, unemployment is the top concern for the youth at 63%. About 1 in 2 university graduates are out of full-time employment; youth aged between 18 and 25 are twice more likely to be unemployed; and unemployment among rural women aged 18 to 35 is about 62%. Whereas hard work was considered a respected value, the association between hard work and success declined dramatically with the level of education (Awiti & Scott, 2016).


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