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Education and Youth

Speeches Shim

Two Kenyan boys read together while sharing a book.
Kenya’s focus on high-quality education is improving the futures of primary school students across the country. Children who excel in reading have a better chance of succeeding and contributing to the prosperity of the country.


As the responsibility for leadership passes to the next generation, Africa’s future and its global competitiveness will be driven by academically gifted and entrepreneurial young people empowered to lead. USAID is providing state-of-the-art education to millions of Kenyan children, expanding educational and employment opportunities for young adults, and preparing a new generation of young African leaders with the skills and mindset to transform the region and the continent.

Program Areas

Early-Grade Reading

Reading is a fundamental skill that lays the foundation for all future learning. USAID partners with the Ministry of Education to implement the Tusome Early Grade Reading program in every public primary school and over 1,500 low-cost private schools across Kenya. Tusome (“Let’s Read” in Kiswahili) has trained 70,000 teachers and dramatically improved the reading skills of over six million learners throughout the country. 

Through Tusome, teachers and learners are using over 26 million Tusome textbooks and learning materials, enabling every child to have their own book. Tusome utilizes an electronic monitoring and evaluation system to provide real-time data and instructional feedback to teachers and administrators throughout the country to help adjust programming approaches. The technical interventions and methodologies of Tusome are producing a new generation of Kenyan children reading at higher levels of fluency and comprehension.

Youth Employment

Lack of access to education and job skills are barriers for youth. USAID’s youth programs target key growth sectors and develop skills that boost competitiveness for the job market. Generation Kenya, a youth workforce development program, teams up with employers to identify skills gaps in target industries and customize job training programs for young people. To date, nearly every Generation Kenya graduate has secured employment in their target industry, thus meeting the needs of both unemployed youth and the emerging job market.

Youth Leadership

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) supports young people to drive growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.  There are three YALI programs in Kenya and East Africa:

  1. The Mandela Washington Fellowship provides skills and support for young African leaders through training and coursework at 40 U.S. universities. YALI leadership training has enabled thousands of young Africans to make a difference and lead a new generation back in their home countries.
  2. The Regional Leadership Center for East Africa at Kenyatta University in Nairobi has trained over 4,061 young leaders from 14 East and Central African countries in business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management with an eye toward regional networking and collaboration.
  3. The YALI Network with 500,000 members continent-wide, provides online courses and a forum to equip young leaders with 21st century skills to transform their communities. 

Overview: Education and Youth

COVID-19 Communication Campaign for Primary School Students

Generation Kenya

Global Give Back Circle (GGBC)

Tusome Early Grade Reading

Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI)

Last updated: August 05, 2021

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