According to the UN, 200 million people in Africa are youth (below 25 years) making over 25% of the population. In sub Sahara Africa 3 in 5 of the total unemployed are youth (ILO 2006). To address the concerns, IREN works with University and High school student in Eastern Africa to promote free enterprise and the concept of ‘thinking outside the box’ while addressing challenges facing the continent.
Enactus is an international organization that consists of a community of students, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives.Enactus Kenya (Then SIFE Kenya) was launched in 2003 following an M.O.U between Enactus International (Then SIFE International) and Inter Region Economic Network (IREN).Enactus Kenya operates under business advisory council. The Kenyan goal is to enhance quality and productivity of Kenyan Graduates.Operates in 22 universities (both public and private), has over 3,000 alumni.Universities roll out minimum of 60 outreach projects per year and compete at Enactus World Cup annually http://www.enactus.org
2.The Eastern Africa Kiswahili High School Debate
Sound economic policies and wealth creation ideas when introduced to the youth can go along way in tackling the challenges facing the African people. IREN also recognized the importance of using a language that the society can relate with while doing business. It is for this reason that IREN host over 100 high school students annually for IREN annual debate in Kiswahili the market place language in Eastern Africa.
- Boost Fellowship
Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) in partnership with The BOOST Fellowship Zimbabwe launched a high school and university students program that seeks to equip students with entrepreneurial, success and leadership skills and ultimately nurture business leaders who will offer solutions to economic challenges in their environment. The program features workshop and training session, mentoring of student and exchange program. The exchange program will foster regional understanding and cooperation among the young people in Africa.
- Annual Cultural Day
Since 2005, IREN, and the RUYEL youth committee organizes the Annual Bukura Cultural event. The Rural Youth Empowerment League is an initiative of IREN to enable young people have higher ambitions, get exposed to global trends, celebrate their youthful energies, nurture talent and assist in tackling problems of insecurity. Annual Bukura Cultural event brings together youth from the Western Province to celebrate culture through music, dance foods and seeds display, Eshilemba (re-enacting old warfare), Sukuti dance, narration of Luhya History among other activities. The event also features a two day training seminar on entrepreneurship and business targeting high school, college and university graduates drawn from all districts from Western Kenya. . For the last 10 years the event has brought together an estimated 5,000 participants whose age range from 4 to 90 years.