I'll defuse unemployment ticking time bomb, says Nassir – The Star, Kenya

•He said the best way to address this is to work towards the realisation of the two Special Economic Zones, including Dongo Kundu and the Mombasa Industrial park in Miritini.
• Already, some 11,000 youth from Mombasa have benefitted from the Skills Mtaani initiative where youth were sponsored by the Mvita CDF to undertake over 100 different short courses.
Youth unemployment in Mombasa is a ticking time bomb that only leaders with proper plans can diffuse, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir has said.
He said 47 per cent of the youth population in Mombasa is unemployed.
According to the United Nations macrotrend projection, the current metro area population of Mombasa in 2022 is 1,389,000, a 3.58 per cent increase from 2021.
The metro area population of Mombasa in 2021 was 1,341,000, a 3.47 per cent increase from 2020.
With 25 per cent of the Kenyan population being youth aged between 18 and 35, this means that the population of Mombasa youth is approximately 347,250.
According to Nassir, out of these 347,250, about 163,208 are unemployed.
“That is why our priority, when we take over the county government is the economy – creating jobs for the youth,” said Nassir at Mary Cliff Hall on Tuesday.
He said the best way to address this is to work towards the realisation of the two Special Economic Zones, including Dongo Kundu and the Mombasa Industrial park in Miritini.
Nassir said should he be elected the next Mombasa governor, he will create an office under the Governor’s Office called “The Ease of Doing Business Desk”.
This will have a database of all the skilled youth in Mombasa from where local and international investors, who want to set up shop in the two SEZs, will pick skilled labour.
Once this desk is created, it will also be charged with facilitating the set-up of investments in the SEZs.
“So as to eliminate these small bottlenecks by ensuring all the requirements needed are met through the desk,” said Nassir.
“You as an investor will not have to do anything. We will get someone to do it for you,” the governor hopeful noted.
However, in turn, the investors will be required to pick skilled labour from the database that will have been created in the Ease of Doing Business Desk.
“We do not want youth from other areas to be employed yet ours are not. We cannot have industries in Mombasa and yet the workforce in the industries are from other areas,” said Nassir.
He said he will set up youth fora in different parts of the county to sensitise the youth on the importance of acquiring skills.
Already, some 11,000 youth from Mombasa have benefitted from the Skills Mtaani initiative where youth were sponsored by the Mvita CDF to undertake over 100 different short courses.
These are some of the youth who will be in the database from where investors will have to pick skilled labour according to their needs.
He said his administration will have a programme called Serikali Mitaani.
The County Government Act allows governors to set up administrative units called boroughs, so as to localise government services.
This means residents of Jomvu or Likoni or Kisauni will not have to come all the way to the CBD in Mvita constituency to access government services as they will have those services available in Jomvu, Likoni and Kisauni through the boroughs.
“There are ward administrators, but through this Serikali Mitaani, there will be village administrators too so that it becomes easier to administer government services,” Nassir noted.
The Serikali Mitaani program, through the village administrators, will ensure youth who acquire any skills are input into the database so that any investor can, at the touch of a button, know which skills are available for them to pick from.
Nassir said his administration will prioritise firms from Mombasa in the award of tenders.
“We will not be happy to give a tender for the construction of a hall to a firm that is not from Mombasa. We will create bylaws to give priority in the award of tender to local companies,” said Nasir.
He said the county will also certify all the skilled labour in Mombasa, so as to validate the skills acquired from the different tertiary and vocational institutions including recognition of prior learning.
Nassir said he will also set up an Elimu Fund with contributions from well-wishers and partners so as to create a pool of financial resources from where the needy and less fortunate can get bursaries apart from the normal available bursaries like the CDF.
The fund will be administered by religious leaders, civil society leaders and other people of integrity through the Serikali Mitaani programme.
He spoke after youth in Tudor led by Tudor MCA Tobias Samba and youth leader Stewart Oyoyo gave him a list of demands that they want done in exchange for their support.
Samba said the youth have been steadfast in the support of ODM and Nassir as an individual and the time has come for them to be rewarded.
“We have walked with the youth in Tudor through thick and thin and now that you are about to be the next governor, it is time you reciprocate their support,” Samba, who is eying the majority leader position in the county assembly, said.
The youth said they want support in the projects they start saying they are an integral part of the society and have a significant role to play in building the county’s economy.
They also said the bursaries youth and children get should not be a one-time thing.
“All those who get bursaries should get them for the entire period they will be learning,” said Oyoyo.
They also decried the expensive licenses they are forced to pay for when they try to set up companies.
This discourages them, they noted.
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