AFRILINK Kenya is registered as an NGO and fights poverty through enabling young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and, create employment for populations especially at the bottom of the pyramid.
Program: The organization will support 40 young entrepreneurs through a Business Venture Incubator at a cost of $292,000. The support includes provision of business expertise, mentoring and access to finance/investors.
- AFRILINK will establish 6 enterprise incubators throughout Kenya that will work to graduate 500 entrepreneurs over 5 years.
- AFRILINK will support these entrepreneurs to create 300 successful businesses that generate 2000 jobs over 5 a year period.
- Entrepreneurs will ensure the employment creation is focused on the bottom of the pyramid as the primary target
- AFRILINK will work to gain national recognition as a leader in youth enterprise incubation
- AFRILINK will work to attract funding and support from diversified sources (domestic, within Africa and International)
Kenya Board of Directors
Mildred Owuor, Chairperson
Prof. Henry Thairu, Vice Chairperson
Vivian Ojal, Treasurer
Dr. Wanjiku Mwotia
Ahuma Adodoadji, Secretary
Kenya Founder Members
Mrs J K Geceau
THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA is the regional hub of East Africa – a place that is unparalleled by its immense history. Kenya’s past reaches back over a million years, as East Africa is known to be where the earliest humans originated. The famous Turkana Boy, a nearly complete skeleton of a 1.6 million year old child, was found at Lake Turkana in Kenya. Located along the Indian Ocean, Kenya is nestled between Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Throughout its long history, Kenya has seen European colonialism, Arab trade, slavery, and tribal wars. Today the country is a unique fusion of cultural influences – with Arab architecture along the Swahili coast, the Maasai villages in the southern arid land, and many other ethnic tribes. Kenya also has an incredibly complex topography, with snow-capped mountains, the Great Rift Valley, desert land, and coral reefs.
Kenya has had a democratic government and president since 1963. It was considered one of the most stable countries in Africa until late 2007, when a disputed election resulted in outbreaks of violence. While the government has regained its stability, there is still widespread corruption and lingering ethnic tensions.
2010 has brought monumental change to the Kenyan government. The 2010 Constitution of Kenya was passed by referendum in August and was approved by 67% of Kenyan voters. Kenyans are celebrating this historic event, after debate on the need for a new constitution has been going on for over twenty years. The most significant changes to the constitution are a citizens’ Bill of Rights, more parliamentary oversight of presidential decisions, limits on the number of cabinet posts, senate review of parliamentary decisions, a network of smaller counties, a Judicial Service Commission, and a land commission to return stolen property. The new constitution is a sign that Kenya is committing to a future that is more democratic, transparent, and free. The 2010 Constitution of Kenya can be viewed in PDF format here: http://www.communication.go.ke/documents/published_draft.pdf
Kenya’s Economy: A Paradox
Despite the fact that Kenya is the economic hub of East Africa and has booming industries and relatively sophisticated enterprise, there still remains incredible poverty. Kenya’s population is 39 million and has been rapidly increasing over the past several years. About three quarters of the labor force work in agriculture – an industry that is very unstable in Kenya because of the amount of infertile lands. Kenya is a leading exporter of tea and coffee. The tourism industry is another important sector of the economy, and one that took a considerable hit after the post-election violence of 2007.
In 2009 the GDP was estimated at $62.56 billion and the GDP per capita was $1,600. Between the corruption, post-election violence, and the global financial crisis, the GDP growth was reduced to just 2.6% in 2009. The lack of economic diversity in Kenya keeps millions trapped in unemployment and poverty. The United Nations has reported that the poverty level in Kenya has only declined by 10 percent in the past decade, still hovering around 46%. There have been terrible food shortages in recent years because of droughts and the rise in price of maize, Kenya’s staple food.
Despite the hardships that Kenya has recently faced, there is optimism for the future. With the new constitution in place there should be less corruption and more equality in Kenya’s society. The rainy season of 2010 has improved the agriculture sector and the Nairobi Stock Exchange is reflecting improved confidence in the market. It is predicted that the GDP growth should increase from 2.6% to 4% in the next year. Kenya is hopeful that in the next decade it will reclaim its momentum and see leaps of socio-economic progress.
Unemployment, especially among youth, is an enormous contributor to Kenya’s poverty. In 2009 Kenya’s unemployment rate was measured at 40%. The youth unemployment rate is 65%, one of the highest in the world. Young people who are employed in Kenya work mostly in the informal sector, which is unregulated and entails low earnings and long working hours. With extremely limited opportunities, more and more youth are turning to crime and violence as a means to survive. Curbing the youth unemployment is absolutely vital in order to advance the economy and improve the standard of living for millions.