Improving the socio-economic resilience of Kenyan youth by improving their employability

Project description

Title: Promoting Employability and Entrepreneurship in Turkana West 
Commissioned by: Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) ​​​​​​​
Country​​​​​​​: Kenya
Lead executing agency​​​​​​​: Department of Refugee Services, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government ​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2022 to 2024



According to UNHCR, around half a million refugees and asylum seekers live in Kenya, just under half of whom live in the Kakuma refugee camp established in 1992 and the Kalobeyei integrated settlement established in 2015. Both of them are located in Turkana West Sub-County, which has a local population of around 240,000 people. New refugee arrivals slowed in 2020 due to COVID-19 border closures. Since the beginning of 2021, however, more than 1,000 new refugees and asylum seekers have been arriving per month.  

Turkana is one of the poorest and structurally weakest counties in Kenya, with 58 per cent of refugees and 72 per cent of the local population living below the poverty line. The local economy is primarily based on the trade of consumer goods. Employment opportunities are very sporadic in some sectors, non-existent in others. The dependency of the refugee and host population on support services is a major challenge, especially for youth in protracted refugee situations. Youths in general lack access to employment-generating skills and income opportunities. This hinders their long-term participation in the local economy and leads to low socio-economic self-reliance, especially among young women.


The socio-economic self-reliance of the youth in the refugee community and the host population in the Kenyan sub-county of Turkana West is improving.

Sonnenuntergang in der Mara © GIZ Huber


The project is aimed at youths between 15 to 34 living in Turkana West and delivers specialised technical and vocational training to them. This includes providing labour-market information and personalised support on business-related issues. 

To avoid discrimination and conflicts, the “do no harm” principle applies, building conflict sensitivity into the planning and design of all project activities 

The project’s focus areas are: 

  1. Improving the conditions to promote socio-economic empowerment among youth in the refugee community and host population.
  2. Providing better access to employment-generating skills training.
  3. Improving access to business-related services 

Last update: July 2022 

Giraffen in der Mara © GIZ Huber