Last month, 25 Young Experts working for local water operators in Kenya (united through WaterWorX), part of YEP Programmes, were trained by NWP’s YEP Tailor-made Programme. Questions like ‘What is your best quality, and what do you do when you have more work than you can handle’?’ and ‘How does this affect the team?’ passed by as the WaterWorX YEP group sits in the training room overlooking Nairobi National Park.
The WaterWorX group is following a tailor-made training programme with national Young Experts who work on the WaterWorX programme in their respective areas. The participants of WaterWorX come from Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, the Palestinian Territories, Tanzania, and Uganda, and started their YEP trajectory in 2022 in the Netherlands. In their return training, they are working on their personal growth and leadership, and are sharing experiences from their workplace. On behalf of YEP Programmes, YEP Programme Manager Vincent Cornelissen and Training Coordinator Renske Verhulst were present at the training programme in Kenya and took the opportunity to visit YEP partner organisations in the region.
Future Strategy for Dutch-Kenyan Collaboration
Since the start of the Programme in 2013, Kenya has hosted the most Young Experts (both current Young Experts and alumni). During their visit to Kenya, Vincent Cornelissen and Renske Verhulst discussed the future strategy for the Dutch-Kenyan collaboration with Pim van der Male (First Secretary, Food Security and Water at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Nairobi, Kenya). The Kenyan Multi Annual Country Strategy (MACS 2023-26) is leading in the future strategy. The new MACS focused on Trade and Economic Development, stability, resilience and ‘Leaving No One Behind’.
Considering these aspects, the development portfolio focuses more strongly on integrated approaches to water and food security in arid and semi-arid areas. The collaboration level has also shifted towards county authorities given Kenya’s devolution process. The water and energy sectors have also been included as important sectors in the trade and investment portfolio of the Dutch Embassy. The new MACS thus generates many new opportunities for Dutch organisations working in these sectors.
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YEP network clearly creates opportunities for collaboration
The scale and closeness of the YEP network was demonstrated at a dinner in Nairobi for the WaterWorX participants, Young Experts and alumni Young Experts. Fifty-six guests spent the evening sharing food, ideas, and contacts, and networking. Above all, the visit to Nairobi has clearly shown that the extensive YEP network creates opportunities for knowledge sharing and collaboration. The Young Experts often continue to work in their sector, and more than half of the Dutch Young Experts stay abroad for longer-term employment. In the last 10 years, no less than 810 Young Experts have been employed by over 190 partners in over 50 countries through YEP Programmes.