The UNDP Kenya Country Office released a policy brief today highlighting the possible policy options for Kenya’s youth during and after COVID-19.
Here’s a summary of the Policy Brief
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, young people aged 20 to 24 years were already disproportionately adversely affected in the labour market compared to other age cohorts.
In December 2019, the youth unemployment rate was 14.2%, more than double that of the general population, of 4.9%. COVID-19 restrictions, including business closures, social distancing, and stay-at-home provisions have hit young people particularly hard in Kenya.
A recent study found that as the risk of the youth unemployment rate rise in Kenya, mental health issues (anxiety, depression, panic attacks) among young people simultaneously rise.
Furthermore, one lasting effect that has occurred after past pandemics, and that is likely to follow the COVID- 19 pandemic is that young people making the transition from education to work will find it more difficult to find employment at entry-level positions due to increased competition for jobs and declining availability of jobs.
Thus, the pandemic urgently calls for global solutions, intergenerational solidarity, and more people-centered, ambitious and inclusive policy solutions.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should guide the response to and recovery from this pandemic and provide the framework for building the resilience and social cohesion that Kenya will need to combat future pandemics.
Young people will form a key element in an inclusive recovery and the achievement of the SDGs during this Decade of Action. The policy implication for the Government of Kenya (GoK) and United Nations (UN) is that youth should be at the centre of the socio-economic recovery response to COVID-19.