ILO report calls for job-centred growth policies in Kenya

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"Kenya: Making quality employment the driver of development" – ILO

Kenya needs to adopt a coherent national employment strategy in order to achieve a more equitable economic growth, says a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

According to the report , GDP growth in Kenya has increased in recent years, (it is expected to reach 5.7 per cent this year), but this has not translated into improved labour market conditions, especially for youth – a growing segment of the population.

In 2012, youth aged 15 to 24 made up over 35 per cent of the working-age population but they accounted for less than 19 per cent of total employment. The inactivity rate for young people reached a staggering 60.5 per cent that same year – an increase of five percentage points since 2000.

The study, entitled "Kenya: Making quality employment the driver of development", proposes a three-pronged approach to achieve job-rich growth:

First, designing a national employment strategy that links employment and macroeconomic objectives.

Second, diversifying Kenya's export-base to tackle economic vulnerabilities, create an enabling environment for investment and promote the creation of decent work opportunities.

Third, facilitating transitions to the formal economy and improving the working conditions of vulnerable workers, in particular youth and workers engaged in informal-sector jobs.

ILO economist Verónica Escudero, and one of the authors of the report says "High and persistent inactivity rates can hamper future economic growth, while discouragement among workers – especially youth – can also have important social implications which could lead to discontent."

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’35″

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