Kenya Earmarks’ For Green Jobs

Inaugural Green Jobs and Skills Development Workshop to Address Access to Economic Opportunities for Youth in Kenya’s Green Economy Nairobi,

Kenya, 17th April, 2024: The Green Jobs for Youth Pact, an initiative by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) along with the Government of Kenya and Jacob’s Ladder Africa (JLA) as implementing partner, are collaborating to organize the first ever National Green Jobs and Skills Development Workshop in the country.

The initiative was announced at a roundtable event bringing together multiple government ministries, key development partners, and relevant senior stakeholders as part of a consultative process for the National Green Jobs and Skills Development workshop. In attendance were the following Principal Secretaries: Eng. Festus K. Ng’eno, Principal Secretary, State Dept. for Environment and Climate Change, Mr. Shadrack Mwangolo Mwadime, Principal Secretary, State Department Labour and Skills Development, Dr. Esther Thaara Muoria, Principal Secretary, State Department TVET and Dr. Beatrice M. Inyangala, Principal Secretary, State Dept. Higher Education & Research and Mary Muthoni Muriuki Principal Secretary Public Health and Professional Standards.

The National Green Jobs and Skills Development, which is set to take place in Nairobi on 3 May 2024, will bring together stakeholders from government, academia, private sector, finance and youth-led groups working in the green economy in the country. While there have been numerous interventions by different players in creating green jobs and skilling for youth, what has been missing is a coordinating mechanism for all these efforts.

The workshop will be a step towards aggregating existing initiatives to date, providing linkages to the work being done by various actors in order to avoid duplication. Speaking at the High Level Roundtable on Green Jobs and Skills Development, Eng. Festus Ngeno, PS Environment and Climate Change said: “The Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda has prioritized the creation of Jobs, given that the Kenyan job market has not been creating enough jobs.

Innovation in job creation will lead to green jobs and green skills development to take a low-carbon development and green growth pathway, in line with the Africa Climate Summit resolutions, which Kenya led and championed and which will cause the country to be in line with Kenya’s international obligation under the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement.”

On her part,Dr. Esther Thaara Muoria, PS, State Department for Technical, Vocational Education and Training commented: “According to Kenya National Adaptation Plan 2015-2030, training young Kenyans in relevant careers and imparting new skills to those already in the workforce or unemployed will contribute to the building of national resilience to climate change while aiding the country’s economic development.

As greening the economy requires a workforce with adequate green skills, TVET plays an important role in the transformation process towards sustainable development.” Press release The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) through its Global Opportunities for Sustainable Development Goals (GO4SDGs) initiative is working with the Kenyan government to tackle the youth unemployment crisis.

On his part the Principal Secretary For Labour and skill development Mr. Shadrack Mwangolo Mwadime welcomed the Meeting slated for next month stating that the Kenya government will support this forum fully as it is in line with the Presidents agenda on Climate change and provisions of jobs particularly for the youth.

Dr. Rose Mwebaza, UNEP Africa Regional Office Director said: “Africa is the only region where the youth bulge will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. If we seize the opportunity to develop and implement the right policies, Africa will reap the demographic dividend. Kenya has immense potential to create a plurality of green job opportunities that will help tackle the negative consequences of the triple planetary crisis of pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss.”

“67% of youth in Kenya are facing unemployment, coupled with a lack of required skills that would enable better access to income-earning opportunities. We have an opportunity ahead of us to address this gap in job access while accelerating the country’s transition to a green economy,” said Sellah Bogonko, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Jacob’s Ladder Africa.
Skills development, enterprise development and financing are the three overarching pillars that will form the basis of engagement at the Green Jobs and Skills Development Workshop.

Skills development will explore the role of education at various levels in enhancing preparedness for green jobs; enterprise development will look into the role of the private and public sector in creating opportunities for green job creation; while finance will delve into the contribution by NGOs, donors and various financial institutions in funding green jobs and skilling.

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