My plans will create many jobs, President Ruto says

President William Ruto

President William Ruto and Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli in Nairobi on November 28, 2023.

Photo credit: PCS

President William Ruto on Tuesday said the government is banking on the housing plan, ward digital hubs and negotiating with other countries to create jobs for millions of young Kenyans.

He added that it is time to be deliberate about tackling unemployment.

Dr Ruto said the affordable housing scheme fronted by his administration has created 120,000 jobs in the last eight months alone.

He advised Central Organisation Trade Unions Secretary-General, Francis Atwoli, to recruit more members from the new workers.

“We have a robust programme, not because we are looking for houses but because the housing sector creates millions of jobs,” President Ruto said during the fifth ITUC-Africa Congress in Nairobi.

The congress brought together trade unions from across the continent.

President Ruto said lawmakers are working on a bill to ensure jobs in the digital space are open to everyone, including those residing in villages.

“Parliament is passing the NGCDF Bill that will create opportunities for ICT hubs in every ward. We seek to create digital jobs in all villages,” he said.

Dr Ruto said he is engaging several countries on improved bilateral labour agreements so that Kenyans in the diaspora work in a conducive environment.

Real numbers

“Should these plans be executed effectively, at least 500,000 Kenyans will get jobs between now and 2027,” he said.

“The best way to stimulate economic growth is to increase income and have more savings. This can be attained by having more of our men and women engaged in earning activities.”

President Ruto said his administration is doing these things to ensure more citizens get employed “because Kenya is a country of workers”.

“It is my commitment that we will enhance our productivity, especially in production and I am happy our agricultural production is up by 40 per cent this year. We need to walk the journey with real numbers in reducing the cost of living,” he said.

Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary, Florence Bore, said the objective of the government is in line with the calls of the International Labour Organisation to advance social justice for all.

The minister urged the trade unions to encourage the training of their members relentlessly, especially with the rapidly changing working environment.

“We must not forget that this region is grappling with youth unemployment, inadequate social protection, informality and other challenges. Trade Unions must put measures to ensure no one is left behind,” Ms Bore said.

Mr Atwoli said he has briefed President Ruto on the important areas affecting Kenyans, especially the rising cost of living.

“We discussed how best to tackle the challenge and bring repose to Kenyans,” the Cotu Secretary-General said.

He also called on President Ruto and the government to ensure Kenyans have a robust social protection programme.

“Let us come up with laws and policies that improve the welfare of the Kenyan worker,” Mr Atwoli said.

“In this age of rapid digitisation, trade unions must invest in innovative ways of meeting the needs of their members. We must fight to remain relevant.”