- It is expected that the number of people of working age youth entering the labour market will increase for at least the next 15 years. After this the survey indicates that the numbers will taper off due to a decline in fertility.
The World Bank Report on the state of our economy released in March starts rather curiously with a heart-warming tale about a determined young entrepreneur.
Instead of a hard macro-economic lesson delivered through a procession of abbreviations we get a story that perfectly captures where we are at as a country.
Ms Laetitia Mukungu from Western Kenya, a top student in her primary school, is unable to raise the money required to proceed with her education.
She searches online for a business she can engage in and identifies a niche she can fill; Kenya is developing a taste for white meat. The demand in urban areas is higher than the market can supply.
She convinces her former school to loan her Sh50,000 and starts a rabbit-keeping business. She ends up employing 15 women in her business.
It doesn’t end there. She begins diversifying her business into grow maize and sukuma wiki.
Thanks to her unparalleled and intriguing story Ms Laetitia gains acceptance into the African Leadership academy in South Africa.
Her story highlights the best of the youth and what can happen when young people are given a chance to better themselves.
Our growing mass of youth need not be viewed with trepidation but should be seen as an opportunity. More than half our population is below the age of 19, according to the most recent demographic and health survey.
Decline in fertility
It is expected that the number of people of working age youth entering the labour market will increase for at least the next 15 years. After this the survey indicates that the numbers will taper off due to a decline in fertility.
We should be thinking of ingenious ways to cash in on the demographic dividend rather than write off an entire generation.