Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

Gloria Omuya's research

Gloria studied youth development programmes in Kenya 

Leaders of Tomorrow? Neoliberalism and Youth Development Programs in Kenya 

Debates on youth in Africa are replete with one-dimensional strategies that propose entrepreneurship and skills development as the solutions to high youth unemployment and the pathway to preparing youth to be leaders and change agents in their communities. Youth development programs have become prominent priorities for governments and development agencies in recent years. Notably, most youth development projects are influenced by neoliberal ideology, which often exclude marginalised youth. This dissertation explored the influence of neoliberalism on youth development programs, and the futurism narratives for the next generation of leaders in Kenya. It argued that youth development is depoliticised, and this approach fails to recognise the social, economic and political factors that impact youth in different contexts. This dissertation is relevant for all stakeholders working in youth development, and it furthers research that identifies the gaps and challenges in youth programs in Africa.

Infographic for Gloria's research

I learned that writing a dissertation is not exactly a process of pursuing perfection, but being committed to refining, rewriting and reflecting on my work to improve my thesis. Aside from the intensive research and study, I also found so much value in the conversations I had with friends and colleagues about my topic. They all added great ideas that were relevant to my research.

Gloria Omuya

Africa and International Development

  • Kenya
  • Postgraduate Scholar

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