Ajira Poa – Job Creation and Skills Development for Unemployed Youth in Kenya
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Ajira Poa – Job Creation and Skills Development for Unemployed Youth in Kenya

The Ajira Poa! project is an innovative blend of activities from all three mixing bowls: stimulation of demand (jobs), enrichment of supply (skills), and a foundation of guidance from a range of public and private sector actors to help young Kenyans navigate the treacherous waters of the world of work and guide them toward a path that makes sense for their own personal journey.

DanChurchAid (DCA) and partners designed Ajira Poa! to be a sustainable model for youth employment/self-employment through the provision of career counselling and various life skills reinforced by an integrated digital blended learning platform and supported by labour-market specific, public and private sector initiatives to help youth become more employable through the attainment of relevant skills.

Client name:
DanChurchAid (DCA)
Republic of Kenya: Nakuru, Nyandarua and West Pokot Counties
January 2021
December 2023

Alignment with CfP purpose, objectives and priority issues: Ajira Poa! puts civil society actors at the heart of a multi-faceted initiative aimed at solving the problem of skills development and job creation for some of the most vulnerable youth in Kenya. Core to the project’s success is the rich tapestry of actors from different sectors and spheres, woven together to support each youth to access the skills, guidance, connections, opportunities, tools and capital they need for sustainable employment/self-employment.

Of particular note, in line with the CfP priorities:

  • DCA will conduct a labour market assessment in each county, identifying the types of jobs currently or projected to be available in the near future. This component will focus on identifying green growth jobs, including waste management, food loss/cold chains, fuel-efficient cookstoves, solar lighting, biogas, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture such as the fresh vegetable/fruits value chains. Results from these assessments will be shared with local TVETs and other actors to help them better align training programs to the types of jobs that are emerging in their locales.
  • Activities in the three targeted counties will be anchored through Youth Empowerment & Career Centres operated jointly by DanChurchAid (DCA) or ADS-NRR in collaboration with the County government youth departments. Through these Centres and their linkages and support to TVET institutions youth will gain a range of work readiness and employability skills (career guidance, life skills, digital & financial literacy, leadership) as well as specific vocational training and/or innovative, mobile enabled, peer-to-peer and in-class business training, incubation and mentorship.
  • A key feature of project design is public and private sector involvement and collaboration for the provision of training, linkages to apprenticeships, internships and/or jobs, mentorships, the donation of materials and supplies, and other emerging opportunities. The private sector will be engaged through such umbrella association as the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), as well as the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), and their respective county/regional-level chapters. This approach will also be reinforced and enriched through our partners, SMEdenmark, Quercus Group and Growth Africa, each of whom brings additional expertise as detailed in Section 3 below. The College of Career Guidance and Development, as a thought leader on career guidance in Kenya, will provide technical support on guiding youth through the process of career choice – proven as crucial to successful youth employment programs4.
  • With support from partner Quercus Group, we will generate a sustainability and replicability blueprint for the Youth Empowerment and Career Centres. This blueprint will then be shared with the participating as well as other county governments throughout the country to stimulate the establishment of similar centres for youth.
  •  Young females in rural locations constitute the largest share of unemployed Kenyan youth (in absolute numbers), while their counterparts in urban areas are most likely to be unemployed (in relative terms)5. With strategies to reach and target female youth in some of the most underserved areas of Kenya, Ajira Poa! aims to support neglected youth to realise their rights.