Youth Agenda in partnership with The Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, Nairobi County Government and through the support of Ford Foundation launched the first youth night market in the country at Mama Ngina Street, Nairobi County aimed at promoting a 24 hour economy in the county, powered by the strength of youth entrepreneurs.
The open-air market event attracted over 150 youth entrepreneurs who brought out the best fusion of shopping, mostly youth businesses, selling merchandise such as clothes, shoes, cosmetics, food, drinks, sports and fitness, electronics, arts, books, fashion, kitchen ware, décor and kids toys among others.
As she launched the market, The Principal Secretary for Public Service and Youth in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Mrs Lillian Mbogo-Omollo said her ministry will continue to create and support initiatives that provide opportunities for young people to earn a decent income through business. According to her, the Youth Night Market was a great initiative that will go a long way to supplement government efforts to address unemployment and which needs to be spread to other major cities in our country.
His Excellency, Dr. Evans Kidero, Nairobi County Governor though he did not make it at the launch indicated that this was a significant milestone in the growth and development of our economy in the county and the country at large. The initiative was in line with the County Strategic Plan that is geared towards promoting a 24 hour economy so as to improve our socio-economic lives in the county, noted
Commenting on the initiative, Nairobi County Executive Member, Youth, Education and ICT, Ms Ann Lokidor noted: “We are indeed happy that this being the first youth night market, it has attracted a big pool of the youth in the county. To support the project, the County Government waived all permit and licenses charges so that the youth entrepreneur can take advantage and make an extra coin during this festive season.”
The Youth Agenda, Chief Executive Officer, Susan Mwongera and who was the brain behind the night market, noted: “We are glad to be kicking off the first youth night market in the country. The initiative aims at providing a solution to the challenge of youth employment through provision of readily accessible markets for their businesses. Nairobi certainly will not be the first and last county to facilitate its set up, we will be rolling out to the other 47 counties as we move along but also aim at having the night markets within estates which is closer to the consumers.”
Maurice Makoloo, Ford Foundation, Eastern Africa Regional Representative on the other hand observed that the urgency of creating pathways for transitioning young people into sustainable livelihoods has never been greater and requires strategic partnerships across the board and that is why we they supported the idea.