One in four youths wishes to leave Kenya, says study
Nearly one out of every four young people contemplates migrating to Europe and America in search of better fortunes, according to a new survey.
This is because they are disillusioned by the goings-on in the country; feeling they do not have opportunities to pursue their ambitions, grow and take charge of their destiny. The youngsters are depressed by high rates of unemployment, corruption and negative ethnicity. They are also upset by the quality of education that does not prepare them effectively for gainful employment.
Next Generation Kenya, a survey conducted by the British Council, which was released this week, gives insights into the aspirations and worries of the youth. It examines social, educational, political and economic issues that afflict the country and how they affect the youth. It was conducted among the youth aged between 15-24 in 4,014 households.
The survey captures nine challenges facing the youth, top on the list is employment (67 per cent), financial difficulties (40 per cent), drugs or alcohol abuse (30 per cent) and lack of access to good education (22 per cent). Others are – overall hardships of life (21 per cent), bad influence from peers (20 per cent), early pregnancies (19 per cent), child marriage (11 per cent) and corruption (10 per cent).
One of the interviewees, a female, told the interviewers: “I have worked really hard to get good grades and I am a well-read, smart person. It’s so incredibly demoralising that some guy who is related to some politician and barely finished high school is probably going to steal my job.”
On positive note, an overwhelming 91 per cent of the youngsters love their country, a fact reinforced by the observation that 86 per cent feel inspired by the nation’s rich heritage. In essence, everything being equal, the youngsters would be content living and working here.
The Kenya director of British Council, Mr Tonny Reilly, says the youth exhibit unenviable enthusiasm and great desire to participate in the socio-economic and political life of their nation and deeply yearning for a chance to be heard.