Peace for Africa and Economic Development

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Peace for Africa and Economic Development : Inspire, Grow and Connect Youth in Africa

Nairobi, KenyaA number of counties in the country, Kenya
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Hint: This will be the first introductory text about this project that viewers will see.
Conflict has arisen worldwide wherever we see large populations of disenfranchised youth. For sustainable peace, PAD works with youth groups to scale grassroots enterprises and actively lead their communities.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if all young people in Africa were economically stable, which kind of change agents driving community socio-economic development would they be?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Today in Kenya, there are around 14 million youth (18–35), approximately 67% of whom are unemployed. Young people don’t feel hopeful of economic opportunities, voiceless and transitions from education institutions without jobs make finding productive work hard. History shows how this vulnerability can easily erupt into violence (as after Kenya’s 2007 election violence), high crime rates, or radicalization (Al Shabaab means “the youth” in Arabic).

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

PAD believes that by combining youth economic empowerment and community leadership, we are offering youth an alternative path, one which can lead to sustainable peace. We begin by identifying groups of young women and men organized around a social cause and micro-enterprise. To accelerate their businesses, we assess their needs and provide technical training, coaching, and capital access in a two-year period; to simplify, we are strategy consultants for youth micro-enterprise. We train our youth groups to actively engage their communities by mentoring them through the implementation of social projects and local activism. Last, we unite these youth leaders from across the country to discuss national policy issues and elevate youth voices


A British Council Global Changemaker; 2012 Kenya Diaspora Impact Award; Africa Village 2013 Top 30 Under 30 Most Influential Young People in Africa; African Leadership Network member, Speaker G8 Summit and World Economic Forum
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

I’ll share two. Agricultural trainings and weekly coaching helped Nyasoko for Jesus (16 people) in rural Migori increase their maize harvest 10­fold and reinvest in poultry rearing. The group is a platform to create dialogue around substance abuse among idle youth. In the Huruma slum of Nairobi, we work with Clear Cut Arts (7 people) to build a crafts company. We've showcased them at bazaars, developed a marketing strategy together, assisted their financial management, and planned debt collection. They have doubled their customers, reduced their debt to zero (from three times their monthly revenue), and opened a shop in downtown Nairobi. We have coached them through a social initiative purchasing education materials for local children.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We have seen impact at two levels: mass engagement for peace­building and high-touch scaling of youth social enterprises. We have hosted peace rallies, concerts, and neighborhood committees as well as election monitoring programs and youth summits estimated to have reached tens of thousands of youth. With the threat of election violence over in 2013, we focused on the long-term scaling of youth social enterprises to address the root causes of conflict. We have learned that growth at this level demands visits on a weekly basis, such that we take on fewer beneficiaries for longer. We now engage 11 groups across 3 counties in Migori, Nakuru, and Nairobi (150 people); by January, we will be working with 30 groups across the same counties (an estimated 420 people). Our intervention has resulted in tenders and loans upwards of $4,000, customer growth,

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our immediate expansion plans are to work with 10 youth enterprises in 15 counties within 3 years and soon after look regionally. Each county is strategically chosen as an area with high levels of youth vulnerability and opportunities for business growth. In 10 years, we see a path to scale through government. We would like to see “social business extension officers” trained in PAD methodologies mirroring today’s “agricultural extension officers.” Kenya has been undergoing a process of “devolution” or federalization nationwide and county funds are available to tailor these programs locally

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Because our target population is unable to pay for these services up front (although we charge a nominal fee), we are exploring three avenues for sustainability. PAD Finance will offer low-cost capital to our youth and generate revenue; our endowment will invest externally. PAD Consulting will leverage our experience in business development and leadership for corporates, NGOs, and government tenders. Profits will return to fund our programs.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The entrepreneurship space is filled with organizations like the African Entrepreneurs Collective, Awethu Project, Unreasonable Institute, Village Enterprise, and many others. None work with our target population, opting instead focus on more advanced businesses. This leaves out rural and marginalized urban youth and does not address underlying social inequalities. None build into their core programming community leadership and peace promotion. A 2015 Mercy Corps study demonstrated that jobs are not enough: youth need to be involved in local and national governance for sustainable peace.

Founding Story

After the 2007 election, Kenya erupted into violence; neighbors turned on neighbors and ethnic-targeted attacks surged. I left school and began organizing thousands of youth for peace. But after leaving one sub-county for another, youth would return to violence; they were being given as little as five dollars to riot and burn property. Just before a planned mass rally in 2008, we raised $500 and spoke to 20 youth ringleaders of the violent mobilization. We asked them to work with us at a sugar plantation instead of participating and we could split the money; every single one did. Neither ethnicity nor political ideologies were the source of their anger; economic frustration was


We have an eleven-member, full-time team in Kenya. Coming from highly diverse backgrounds, our five-person leadership team has a combined total of 66 years of experience in the academic, humanitarian, NGO, philanthropy, peace-building, social enterprise and finance. On the side of our beneficiaries, our frontline staff conducting business development have a combined total of 25 years of experience in education, management consulting, micro-finance, agribusiness, and value chain development across public, private, and civil sectors. Our two boards in US and Kenya have between them 18 people, leaders in their fields. They include among many an ED of UBS, presidents of family foundations, a partner at Deloitte, a conflict management professional who sat on the Truth and Justice Reconciliation Commission in Kenya, the founder of one of the largest social enterprises in Kenya (Kickstart), the chief architect of the Kenyan constitution, the former CEO of the largest investment bank in East Africa, the Vice-Chancellor of the largest private university in Kenya, and a senior advisor to the Cabinet Secretary of Devolution and Planning on youth issues.