Five students from Precious Blood, Riruta in Nairobi are among finalists taking part in a global technology and entrepreneurship competition that kicked off in San Francisco, California on Thursday.
The students will be presenting their innovation dubbed M-Safiri, a bus booking app during the two day Technovation Challenge 2016, in which they stand a chance to win Sh1 million (US$10,000) funding to launch their app. The M-Safiri app was developed through App Challenge, an initiative of Safaricom Women In Technology (WIT).
This comes as the word celebrates the World Youth Skills Day, 2016, whose theme is “Skills Development to Improve Youth Employment.”
The youth form the bulk of the unemployed statistically, around the globe. According to this article on The Guardian, approximately 800,000 young Kenyans enter the labor market every year and youth unemployment is estimated to be as high as 35%, compared to the overall national unemployment rate of 10%. Furthermore, 80% of unemployed Kenyans are below 35 years old.
Which is why initiatives such as the Technovation challenge and other noble initiatives need to be developed, in order to provide youth with employ-ability skills.
It is also evident that innovation starts at a young age. This potential needs to be harnessed and nurtured through mentoring. For example to qualify for this Technovation Challenge, the high school students form teams through which they develop apps, prepare a video pitch and business plan, which are submitted to a global judging panel yearly, where the winning team stands a chance to win USD10, 000.
Through the Safaricom Women In Technology (WIT) initiative, students are not only mentored but also introduced to the basics of coding, user-interface design, market research, and entrepreneurship and presentation skills.
Eneza Education’s Skills Development
At Eneza Education, we are cognizant of the youth unemployment rate. This is why we provide affordable Basic business skills course through mobile technology. The course content is designed to enable small business owners to run their businesses successfully.
We continually get positive feedback from our users regarding the course. An example is below:
My business collapsed 2 years ago, I did your business course & started over. I learnt that lacked proper business skills. Thank you- User.
— Eneza Education (@EnezaEducation) July 5, 2016
We have a fairly youthful team at Eneza, that validates our organizational commitment to providing youth employment.
This also resonates with the UN Secretary General’s message for the World Youth Skills Day.
Empowering young people through skills development strengthens their capacity to help address the many challenges facing society, including poverty, injustice and violent conflict. There is no better investment than helping a young person to develop their abilities. Successful skills programmes link young people with opportunities to gain experience and jobs. It is especially critical to cultivate girls and young women with skills in science, technology and innovation.
Photo Credits: Safaricom PR & Corporate Communications