Unemployment In Kenya

It’s a shame, isn’t it?

We help run Kazi360, which is a job board and career resource website for young professionals in Kenya. The website is still very young and has a long way to go before we consider it “successful” but it does already have quite a number of users. We attribute this to the sad fact that a large number of Kenyans are looking for jobs.

So recently I advertised a job opening on behalf of someone that I know. I set up the job ad and was subsequently responsible for screening the applicants. To be honest, I did not expect the number of applicants to be more than a few – the job was one of those low-salary affairs. But I was wrong. The response was much more than I expected to the point where I wish I had not signed up to do the screening on my own.

You know what, though? More than half the respondents were university graduates, some with Masters degrees and years of experience. The potential employer was hoping to get someone who had not been to university but what do you do when you have so many wonderfully qualified people wanting your low pay job? I’m sure anyone else who has tried looking for employees has come across this phenomenon, ama?

What does this say about our country Kenya? 🙁 We have so many graduates who are languishing in unemployment and dead end low pay jobs. How do we change this? A couple of months ago I was visiting my auntie who lives in Buru Buru. It was a certain Wednesday – a full working day. Friends, as I was walking down the Buru streets, I could not believe my eyes – there were young people all over the places. What were these youth doing idle when they should be at work, or at school? It turns out that most of them had finished college/university but just didn’t have any jobs. I am sure this doesn’t happen only in Buru Buru. The surest sign of trouble in any country is when you find the majority of the youth just….idle. 🙁

What can we do? One of my favorite solutions is encouraging people to go out on their own, to start their own businesses. Don’t sit on that pavement and wait for “the man” to give you a job, go out and get your own thing up and running! It is not that hard, trust me. Do you know that we started Like Chapaa with less than Kshs 5,000 capital? Why, exactly, can’t you start your own thing?

Here’s where you can start, quick:

So, what are you starting? How can we help?

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