mmnjug™ Profile picture
22 Feb, 26 tweets, 6 min read
It is often said that the greatest wealth and the strength of any nation lies in its youth. This means that the youth not only shape the trajectory of a nation’s economy, they are also central to achievement of the United Nations’ SDGs. - Kasimu @SafaricomPLC HR
Data from the World Bank indicates that Kenya has the highest rate of youth unemployment in East Africa – with 17% of all young people eligible for work lacking jobs.
If we are to secure the future of the country, there is an urgent need to address the risk that the current acute unemployment situation presents.
Compounding the challenge of unemployment (and underemployment) is the paradox of inability to find suitable talent to fill critical roles due to lack of relevant skills among the population.
Majority of our young people lack stable income-generating opportunities, with skills mismatch being recognized as a major contributor to the problem.
Often, the youth are offered unequal job opportunities since they are often mischaracterized as inexperienced, unprofessional or unable to build towards a company’s vision.
At @SafaricomPLC however, we remain true to our purpose, Transforming Lives, and as such we are ‘Going Beyond’ being a Telco and transforming into a Purpose-led Technology Company.

We have integrated nine SDGs into our business operations and have made inroads in making sustainable development part of the organizational culture.

One of the goals is SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth; through which we strive stimulate growth and generate value for our company, society and economy.
Our motivation for doing this came out of the realization that the job market has changed, and we as employers, as well as our young people, need to adapt. We also realized that the caliber of recruits we were attracting has changed.
The youth of today are exposed to technology in a way that the employees we recruited a mere ten years ago were not. They can learn different skill sets on YouTube and other online platforms, and they bring a lot more to the table than just the paper qualifications they possess.
Our main goal is to help them harness these skills to earn a living in a sustainable way.
Through the @SafaricomPLC Discover Program and the Safaricom Internship Program, we continue to give fresh graduates an opportunity to make an impact in a corporate setting while paving their path to stable employment.
Since 2019, over 350 youth have benefitted from these programs, and this year, over 50 more youth pursuing STEM related courses are set to benefit.
Additionally, in @SafaricomPLC call centre at Eldoret, we also adopted a liquid workforce model in a bid to prepare students for corporate careers by furnishing them with skills and experiences to make them ready for the job market after college.
We have hired over 200 liquid workforce employees through the program so far.
We have gone further in our pursuit to enhance diversity. Our Women in Technology program has driven more women into STEM programs and courses through different engagements with young girls in high school, and internships for those pursuing technology-related courses.
As we seek to tackle the youth unemployment and inequality agenda, today we face a ‘Global Skills Crisis’ that will only continue to worsen the already bad employment situation.
There is a significant degree of misalignment between the supply and demand for skills, particularly in the short run, and in the context of dynamic digital transformation at the workplace and in business generally.
It is particularly worrying for the youth because if not addressed, the skills mismatch will bring about a high risk of unemployment, lower wages, lower job satisfaction and poorer career prospects.
To this end, Safaricom has committed to empowering the youth with skills of the future. Through our flagship youth platform, @BLAZEKenya by @SafaricomPLC, we continue to engage young people and provide them with entrepreneurial skills and life coaching.
In the past, we did this through the #BLAZEBYOB summits that have been conducted countrywide since 2016.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we adopted a digital approach that has seen us conduct a digital career fair and digital summits on BLAZE Kenya’s social media pages, tackling themes such as the future of work, personal branding and mental health.
Our aim is to help the youth ‘Go Beyond’ by enabling them to reimagine what education and skills they need for gainful employment or to pursue their passions.
The rapidly changing nature of work, the workplace and the workforce is casting a long shadow over the futures of our young people all around the world and it is our hope that these skills and career nuggets will go a long way in impacting their lives for the better.
How @SafaricomPLC is elevating the youth with skills for the future through programs like @BLAZEKenya summits, Safaricom Discover and Internship progs etc by Paul Kasimu Safaricom HR Officer


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