Tackling the Unemployment Problem in Kenya


With every passing year, almost one million youths join the Kenyan job market. These youths are mainly fresh graduates from universities and colleges. This has eventually led to a high rise in unemployment levels.

A survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics conducted in 2018 revealed that about 7 million Kenyans are unemployed. The report further revealed that 1.4 million out of the 7 million were desperately looking for jobs.

This has led to the question why unemployment in a country where high education levels are always seen as a pathway to success is so rampant. According to a survey conducted by the World Bank, it was revealed that most graduates lacked the skills necessary to perform in the current jobs in the economy. This was attributed to a huge disconnect between our university education system and the needs of the labor market.

The World Bank findings were also echoed by the former cabinet secretary to the ministry of education Dr. Fred Matiang’i. This was after a report released by the ministry of education cited that many graduates especially from the public universities were being shunned by employers due to poor quality of the courses offered in the institutions.

Dr. Matiang’i is reported to have said that ‘ most graduates lacked timely labor market information ‘. He went on to explain that the quality of education offered in universities does not provide students with the necessary education and information needed for the job market. The lack of employment has led many people to join the informal sector while it is estimated that about 60% of Kenyans survive on less than USD 2 a day.

Many people are being left with no option but to take the bull by its horns. Although venturing into business as a way of creating self-employment is seen as the way to go in curbing the level of unemployment, many people who venture into small businesses are often faced with numerous challenges that make it hard for their businesses to flourish.

Although some businesses make it against all odds, it is good to be aware of some of the challenges that come with setting up a new business in Kenya. They include;

  • Financial constraints
  • Competition
  • Business education limitations
  • Taxes
  • Insecurity
  • Lack of advanced technology

With so many challenges, business startups have proved to be almost impossible, especially for young graduates with inadequate capital. Things are made even more complicated as many financial institutions do not make it easy for small business owners to secure loans.

A latest report from World Bank has cited that if Kenya is to absorb the high number of youths joining the job market, then at least 900,000 jobs have to be created annually between now and 2025. It is evident that this fete seems unattainable. However, something needs to be done to help curb the unemployment rate in Kenya.

Introducing Online Freelancing

Freelancing in online work is a solution to the situation facing Kenya. Freelancing is a form of self-employment where a person offers his/her services for a fee. A freelancer does not work for a single client.

Some of the benefits that come with working online include;

  1. Low Start-Up Capital

Starting online work is easy. An online business will only require a few things to get it going. Money for renting out space is not required and you also do not need to possess a certificate. All you need to start working online is a computer and a good network connection.

  1. More Clients

The potential of growing an online business is much higher since working online brings you closer to a larger pool of customers. Unlike a physical shop that attracts only customers around its location, online shops attract millions of users from all over the world.

  1. Working from Home

With online jobs, one can actually work from their bedroom. Dressing up and leaving your house to meet a client is not necessary. No physical office is required.

  1. Own Boss

Being your own boss can help you avoid the stress that comes from working for or with a difficult person. If a client is difficult, a freelancer can always drop them. Working for a difficult person can have negative effects such as sleep problems, depression, weight issues and high blood pressure.

  1. Control Over Your Work Load

A big advantage of being a freelancer is the fact that one gets a chance to choose when and what to work on. According to a research from Kansas State University, it has been found that most employees who work for more than 50 hours per week, suffer from decreased physical and mental health. Having control over your workload can be beneficial to your health.

  1. Long Commute

The fact that most freelancers work from their homes makes freelancing great not only for time management but for better health as well. According to one study, the lowest levels of life satisfaction was attributed to most people who commute by bus for 30 minutes.

  1. Family Time

Since one can comfortably work from home, there is more time to spend with loved ones. This eventually strengthens the bond between family members leading to happy, healthy families.

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Comments (2)

Very insightful post here. Indeed freelancing is the future job market.

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