Educationists, Leaders Challenged To Empower The Youth To Be Job Creators.

From left to right - MKU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stanley Waudo, Chairman MKU University Council Prof. David Serem, Jane Nyutu (Member of MKU Board of Directors) and the Chief Guest Dr David Thuku, CEO Family Bank. 
Graduates have been reminded that university education was no longer geared towards preparing them for white collar jobs but rather to initiate them into being job creators.

Speaking at the Mount Kenya University Thika Campus on Thursday while commissioning the second cohort of apprentices of the Graduate Enterprise Academy (GEA), Dr. David Thuku, the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Family Bank Limited praised this great program saying that it had produced graduates who would go out to create employment.

He reminded the graduands that they were now entering a new chapter in life full of challenges and opportunities and they needed to play their part in helping communities improve their quality of life. 

He added that he was most impressed with the progress the academy had made in the past two years to churn out young people from different and diverse backgrounds who would redefine the narrative of the society, the country and be vibrant positive influencers.

“The days when we educated our youth to go ye forth and venture primarily into white collar jobs is long gone. I have great admiration for the emphasis the Academy places on job creation rather than being preoccupied with job seeking, as well as life-long learning development and developing leadership skills. I’m greatly encouraged to note that the knowledge and skills you have acquired is going to be put to some good use in the different business ventures you are going to pursue,” said Dr. Thuku.

While addressing the same gathering, the chairman of the University Council Prof. David K. Serem encouraged the private sector and academia to embrace partnerships with the government saying that this would create synergy that would be very active in ensuring that the next generation of Kenyans is productive, a people with a strong vision for themselves and for the society at large and hence responsible heirs of this country.

Prof. Serem reckoned that there was great the need for youth empowerment in Kenya and in Africa in general because of the large numbers of unemployed or underemployed youth in Africa who were on record of being misused to cause civil unrests that destabilise countries and undermine efforts to build more stable, prosperous societies.

“Through GEA, MKU should view herself as a prime institution that inculcates skills and knowledge on innovation and entrepreneurship, equips students with a set of skills, enabling them identify viable business ideas and providing them with a practical approach to entrepreneurship. In this way, MKU stimulates attitudes and behaviour that promote the capacity for collaboration, creativity and innovation in job and wealth creation,” he said.

MKU Vice Chancellor Prof. Stanley W. Waudo reminded the audience that universities all over the world were facilitators and catalysts in seeking solutions to the challenges in the society including inculcation of entrepreneurial culture among the students. He added that GEA was a facilitator and a catalyst of creating an entrepreneurial culture.

To the 14 apprentices, Prof. Waudo said:  “Take time to decide which opportunities are really good and which ones definitely won’t work. And even in the worst case scenario, remember that nothing is absolute. Life is a giant game of trial and error, so don’t get blogged down in errors.”

What is GEA?                                                                                              
In the year 2014, the Chairman Board of Trustees Dr. Simon Gicharu launched an Enterprise Academy program targeting MKU Alumni with business ideas. A total of 9 graduates joined a residential entrepreneurship training program between February and May 2014 and successfully completed the program, received seed capital and are currently in the market with their own enterprises. Since last year, he has taken a strategic decision to establish the GEA as a spinoff of Mount Kenya University and Equip Africa Institute.

Graduates apply and send descriptions of their startups, are short listed, interviewed and trained through a combination of 3 weekend’s boot camps and 3 months of virtual incubation. They are networked with funding organisations and mentors for greater prosperity of their businesses.
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