Youth trainees at the Mwamko Youth Centre Zainab Issa @ Mwamko
A group of 80 young people in Mombasa got a boost with the launch of training in entrepreneurship and information communication technologies at the Mwamko Youth Centre.
The training jointly supported by UN-Habitat, Altaawon One Stop satellite Centre, Hewlett-Packard, and Digital Opportunity Trust seeks to build the capacities of young people to create jobs and start up small businesses. A total of 1000 young men and women from Likoni slums are expected to benefit from the training that will run for one year at the Mwamko Youth Centre.
The Mwamko Youth Center is well equipped with modern equipment thanks to support of Hewlett-Packard that donated 40 computers to support the training being facilitated by Digital Opportunity Trust. UN-habitat is providing technical support through the provision of the training manuals on entrepreneurship, asset mapping and youth information guides.
The high rates of unemployment among young people especially those from informal settlements calls for strategies that support urban job creation. With a population of about 170,000 people, Likoni is one of the most densely populated informal settlements in Mombasa Municipality and also one of the poorest. A high unemployment, drug abuse, lack of an efficient land policy, poor urban governance and poor infrastructure are some of the challenges faced by the residents of Likoni. The high levels of poverty have prevented many young people from getting basic education and training, limiting their competitiveness in the labour market.
It is hoped the training on Entrepreneurship and ICTs at the Mwamko centre will empower young people to create businesses and also to use technology to run their businesses and map resources in their neighborhood.
Other programmes to be undertaken at the center include:
Youth participants during the training at the WAPI Centre, Peter Kihungi @ WAPI
- Youth empowerment;
- Inclusion of youth in governance at the municipal level;
- Employment and Entrepreneurship opportunities;
- Reproductive health and HIV/AIDS
- Environmental education and management as well as waste management and climate change: and
- Sports and recreation activities.
In a related development, UN-Habitat in conjunction with African Youth Trust and the Nairobi One Stop Youth Center also supported youth training at the WAPI (Words and Pictures (WAPI) center in Banana Hill in Nairobi. The center was initiated in 2008 to mitigate drugs and substance abuse among those at risk youth such as commuter taxi (known locally as matatu) drivers and touts, drug abusers and youth in schools programs, and the general community.
The center empowers the youth by organizing trainings for them to become peer educators and entrepreneurs.
One youth trainee said, "The training was an eye opener to many of us. We have benefited with the knowledge, skills and know how to run an effective and successful business. Some of us are already starting to use the skills to start up small ventures with varying degrees of success".