Taking part in international contests will open up new opportunities for Kenyan youth. In a country where the population is rapidly growing while available prospects remain limited, Kenyans should broaden their search for occupational chances to the international sphere. Whereas globally most people are still in search of advancements from their current situations, this does not constrict the Kenyan youth from exploring internationally. Different countries and international organisations continue to offer avenues for funding, competitions, scholarships and even jobs. Most of these remain untapped or fully exploited because of a small number of applicants.
The ongoing Climate Launch Pad Competition for example has in the recent years seen Kenyans excel in the global fete. Last year, Kenya had one entry among the top 16 finalists in the global finals held in Limassol, Cyprus while in the previous year, Alkagel a Kenyan innovator who turns waste into sustainable bio fuel, won the grand prize. In spite of such motivation, the competition only receives a limited number of applications despite being open to everyone. There are hundreds of other openings that are shared daily by organisations. The availability of relatively affordable internet in the country and online application methods makes it even easier to make submissions.
There is abundance of ideas lying within the young people, but most of them never take off ostensibly for lack of adequate local opportunities and international exposure. Taking part in contests like the Climate Launch Pad among others will expose Kenyans to networks with other like-minded young people from other states as well as with potential investors. This will not only be a benchmarking chance for their concepts and ventures but will also lead to the grasping of newer ideas that can be invested back home.
There are also global funding opportunities that are offered by developed nations to the developing countries. These too provide the opportunity to get capital that may not be accessible in Kenya. One does not have to leave their country; if they are able to tap into the openings advertised online, they could end up being incubated and financed from the localities of their choice.
Pessimism, laxity and any other shortcomings that impinge Kenya youth from exploring international opportunities should be highly dissuaded. International organisations domiciled in Kenya ought to further proliferate available opportunities at their organisations in ways that will efficiently reach the youth. They also need to further simplify application requirements and procedures. How about allowing the youth to apply with just an idea in mind?
A redacted version of this article has been published by The Standard by the same author