Dr. Awiti of the Aga Khan University – East African Institute on ‘Made in Kenya’ and ‘Make in Kenya’

The reason there are no jobs is because on average, 56 per cent of graduates from East African universities lack basic and technical skills needed for the few jobs that exist.

Moreover, our schools are not places for forging curiosity, critical thinking, complex reasoning, creativity and innovation.

– Dr. Awiti, Director, East African Institute & Assistant Professor, Aga Khan University

Dr. Alex Awiti at Water for Food Conference, May 7th, 2013 (Image via Water for Food - University of Nebraska)
Dr. Alex Awiti at Water for Food Conference, May 7th, 2013 (Image via Water for Food – University of Nebraska)

If the legion of jobless youth does not find work, the consequences could be dire–from increased poverty and inequality and economic decline to social and political instability.

We could learn from India’s network of institutes of technology and Brazil’s focus on vocational training, which saw spending on vocational training soar from $385 million (Sh35.4 billion) to $3.8 billion (Sh350 billion) in one decade. We need incentives for ‘Made in Kenya’ and ‘Make in Kenya’. We must provide incentives for private sector to invest in training and hiring.

Most of all, to create jobs and build the requisite human capital, we must align our education and training programmes and tax incentives with development policy, the labour market, as well as with the needs of industry, business and the creative sector.

Read the complete story at All Africa | Kenya: Rising GDP but No Jobs for the Youth

By Alex O. Awiti. Published Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

Dr. Awiti is the director of the East African Institute and assistant professor at Aga Khan University


About Alex O. Awiti

Alex O. Awiti is the Director of the East African Institute, a policy research, analysis, capacity building and public engagement platform of the Aga Khan University. As an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, he also leads the curriculum design for one of the most innovative liberal arts based undergraduate programmes in Africa

Prior to joining the Aga Khan University, Awiti was a postdoctoral fellow at the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. He was also an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Awiti is the Africa editor for Environmental Development, the Transdisciplinary Journal of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE). As public intellectual he writes a widely read weekly column for The Star, a Kenyan daily.

His research focuses on education, conservation, agriculture and food systems, population health, climate change, urbanization and natural resource governance.

As one of very few resilience experts in Africa, Awiti sits on the Board of the Resilience Alliance (http://www.resalliance.org/), a research organization comprised of international interdisciplinary scholars, including Nobel laureates.

As a public intellectual, Awiti maintains an active blog (www.envidevpolicy.org) and writes regular op-eds for leading East African newspapers. He was one of the speakers at TEDx Nairobi 2013.

Mr. Awiti holds a PhD in Ecosystems Ecology from University of Nairobi and is an alumnus of the prestigious Earth Institute Fellowship of Columbia University in New York.

Via www.envidevpolicy.org


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