USAID Grant Signed to Create 2,000 New Jobs for Youth in the Apparel Industry

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For Immediate Release

Friday, July 7, 2017
Kim Case
+254 706 033 203

NAIROBI, Kenya (July 7, 2017) – Today the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) signed a grant with Generation Program Kenya Limited, a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative, to create 2,000 full-time jobs and provide over 100,000 hours in skills development for young people in the apparel industry.

Working hand-in-hand with Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and apparel companies, the pilot program will set up and equip seven training centers throughout Kenya and screen 4,000 youth for participation. The pilot activities include recruitment, training and job placement in the apparel industry. 

By the end of the program, the 2,000 trained Kenyan youth will help address the skills gap that currently hinders growth in the apparel sector in Kenya.  In addition, the goal of the pilot is to create a sustainable and replicable model for apparel sector skills development throughout East Africa.

“USAID is pleased to support this pilot initiative. Not only does this private sector approach directly link trained at-risk youth to jobs, the leadership from Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives makes the model sustainable,” said USAID Kenya and East Africa Acting Mission Director Dr. Tina Dooley-Jones.

The signing of this grant is also the official kick-off of the Hub’s larger “East Africa Cotton, Textile and Apparel Workforce Development Initiative,” a collaborative effort with the private sector based on a partnership agreement between the Hub and the  American Apparel and Footwear Association. The partnership ensures U.S. brands and retailers’ goods are manufactured in accordance with best-in-class business practices and operations in East Africa, producing a win-win for trading partners.

East Africa is establishing itself as a key-sourcing destination for buyers of global apparel, footwear and travel goods. Recently renewed to 2025, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a major incentive which provides up to 35 percent in duty savings for eligible countries exporting to the U.S. The Hub’s new initiative will further cement partnerships between U.S. and East African business under the Act.


About the partners:

USAID: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the premier international development organization of the United States Government and partners with Kenyan and regional governments, organizations and private sector entities in order to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies, while advancing our shared security and prosperity.

USAID’s Hub: The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) boosts trade and investment with and within Africa by deepening regional integration, increasing the competitiveness of select regional agriculture value chains, promoting two-way trade with the U.S. under AGOA and facilitating investment and technology that drives trade growth intra-regionally and to global markets.,,

Generation Program Kenya Ltd. is a locally incorporated subsidiary of McKinsey Social Initiative (MSI), a non-profit arm of McKinsey and Company.  MSI has been set up to develop and implement innovative approaches to social challenges and is implementing a youth employment initiative called “Generation” in five countries, including Kenya. Generation Kenya was launched in 2015 with funding from the USAID’s Mission in Kenya and has so far successfully graduated 4,400 trainees from among disadvantaged youth, placing them in the fast moving consumer goods distribution, retail, financial services and hospitality industries.