Youth Research Compendium

Institute of Economic Affairs

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Post Date: 04 October 2012

That Kenya has a large and growing youthful population is an indisputable matter. The salience of this demographic feature found empirical confirmation during the National Population and Housing Census held in 2009. With the established fact of a youthful population come a number of certainties and uncertainties in the medium to long term for the country. Because Scenarios building provide a useful methodology for examining and holding conversations during periods of uncertainty, the opportunity opened up for the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Kenya) to undertake its second Scenarios project based on examining the question of a large and growing youthful population.

This Research compendium contains a number of chapters covering various parts of the lives and state of play regarding experience and contributions of youth to education, technology, sports, health and demography, family formation, participation in politics, crime and vigilantism and employment. These eleven chapters reveal insights and create new understanding about the lives of youth based on careful review and subjecting common assumptions to as strenuous tests as is possible. As you will note in looking further, the consolidated story about the youth in Kenya is neither as simple nor as simple nor as subject to hasty generalization as often encountered. Indeed, it is out of the realization of this complexity that the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Kenya) commenced the scenarios project by examining the lives, perspectives and data about youth around the 11 themes. It is clear that this research journey has yielded particularly insightful lessons.

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