United States International University Africa (USIU-Africa) is a place for learning, discovery, innovation, and expression. As a university, we are dedicated to being a premier institution of academic excellence with a global perspective. Across Production Limited is a company that hosts (live) events and produces family television programs. Together we introduce the project CO-CARE (Country Creative, Creative Arts, Residence & Empowerment), to fight the unemployment of Youth in Kenya by creating employment in the digital creative arts value chain.
Youth unemployment in Kenya is at an all time high. An estimated of 35% of youth between the ages of 18-35 are unemployed or underemployed, overall the rate or women is 10% higher. They face additional constraints when seeking employment because they are met with traditional gender-roles that create social expectations concerning household labour and childcare.
The creative sector is a promising sector to fight youth unemployment but there are several problems that are preventing youth from accessing it. There is a disjoint between the education system and the creative industry, many graduated youth lack the skills that the employment sector is demanding. Also, there are limiting beliefs among youth about content creation and lack of knowledge about several subjects in the industry such as content creation, how to monetize talent and intellectual property rights. On top of that, there is often a lack of capital to start-up.
We believe the creative industry is a very promising sector for youth, which is why, with our project, we want to face the problems youth are encountering when entering this sector and employment market.
The consortium of USIU-Africa and Across Production Limited generates synergy that will lead to a vibrant CO-CARE program. Our project is youth driven and focusses on affirmative action for women and youth.
With our project, we address the barriers that are preventing young Kenyans from accessing and entering the creative sector. We will do this by creating three creative hubs in three regions in Kenya. Each hub will host 250 youth to create, review, develop and support digital distribution and marketing of creative content. Out of these 250 youth, we will be taking affirmative action to recruit 53% young women. We will reach this goal by partnering with organisations that excel in the economic empowerment of women. Also, the content that will be created by the employed youth will be reviewed by industry practitioners and packaged and presented in reputable platforms supported by the consortium.
Additionally, we will combine the technical and entrepreneurship concepts to create an end-to-end model to handhold youth from conceptualization of ideas to the market, creating decent and sustainable youth employment.
Lastly, our project will have a research and learning agenda where key lessons learnt will be documented and shared with stakeholders for policy strengthening.
It is likely that with CFYE support, the project will be better designed, proceed more quickly, or reach more young people than it otherwise would have.
With CFYE support the collaborating partners will be able to develop and pilot a model that blends professional training with business development support in content development, packaging, marketing, and distribution. The support will enable us to reach more youth (with an affirmative action for women) in a cost-efficient manner in five counties (or districts) that are out of Nairobi. In the absence of CFYE support, consortium partners will not be able to support youth who are not able to access the services of the two institutions in Nairobi.