1.1 The background of study
According to available statistics from website, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with one of the largest population of youths in the world of about 33 millions (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_in_Nigeria). With this population, it will be right to assume that Nigeria has a future as a great nation giving the fact that the youths make up the future of any nation because they are known for their inventiveness and willingness to experiment new ideas anywhere and any day if they are given the environment, properly guided and empowered.
One of the most traditional ways of empowering the youths had been education from primary schools through secondary schools to tertiary institutions like the polytechnics, colleges of education, universities etc. These institutions once produced youths who got automatic employments when the labor market was still employing graduates in great number.
Today, the situation has changed drastically as unemployment has generally assumed a worrisome proportion where youths no longer get automatic employment upon graduation. This is to say there are no longer available white collar jobs to employ the teaming youths that graduate from schools every year.
This calls for concerted attention of the government, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector and individuals to address this very important issue of unemployment. According to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, formerly the President of Nigeria from 1999 until 2007, if this issue and of course others are identified and addressed, the lives of the youth will be enhanced and the overall national development would be improved (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_in_Nigeria).
In Kaduna state the story of youth’s unemployment is not different. It is this level of unemployment that compelled the Kaduna state government under the leadership of Governor Mallam Nasir El-rufai to introduced KAD-STEP, or Kaduna start-up entrepreneurship program, in other to facilitate job creation opportunity for the young and unemployed in Kaduna state (www.aea.org.com).
1.2 Statement of problem
In Kachia local government area of Kaduna state, there are thousands of youths who roam the streets everyday without anything to do and as a result, a number of them have taken to crimes of different kinds including political thuggery, robbery etc. Since collar jobs have apparently disappeared, federal government have in response to this come up with youths empowerment programs of varying kinds over the year such as the NPOWER, Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI), African Youth Empowerment Nigeria (AYEN), Young Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (YEN), Youth Empowering People (YEP), Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin) etc which have hardly made any difference.
However, there are equal number of these unemployed youths that have enrolled in local skill generation activities such as auto-mechanic repairs, brick laying, carpentry, fashion design etc; an indication that they have confidence in the power of self empowerment to help them achieve their dreams in life through self employment if modern skill empowerment and acquisition centers are provided for them.
1.3 Aim and objectives
The aim of this project is to design a youth empowerment centre at Kachia in Kachia Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna state.
The objectives of this project are as follows:
(i) To review the concepts of youths, youths empowerment, and youths empowerment centers with a view to understanding the theories and principles of empowerment centers.
(ii) To examine existing youths employment centers both within and outside Nigeria in order to highlight the principles of their planning, design and development.
(iii) To carry out detailed analysis of the proposed site in order to understand the climatic, geographical, legal and infrastructural context of the site.
(iv) To make recommendations towards policies on youth empowerment centers.
1.4 Scope and limitation
The scope of this design emphasized the following:
(i) Administrative block for general management,
(iii) Workshops and
(iv) Public conveniences.
This project will not include hostels.
1.5 Research methodology
The collection of data was done as follows:
(i) Case studies; which involves visiting existing youths empowerment centers in other to have good knowledge of the concept of planning and design and getting their problems in other to come up with solutions.
(ii) Internet websites; that provide relevant literature or information concerning youths and empowerment related matters.
(iii) The library; which provides journals, text books etc necessary for the research.
1.6 Architectural significance
The proposed project will ginger the youths through its functionality and appearance as well as the planning and design of the proposed project. It will serve as a reference material for individual architect and students who may perhaps propose a design of related project.
The main motivation to this project is due to the great number of unemployed youths in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State who lives without source of livelihood.
The desire to propose an empowerment center is also boned out of federal government’s effort to mitigate issues relating to unemployment by coming up with a National Youth Policy which involves youth empowerment scheme and that of Kaduna state government KAD-STEP, or Kaduna start-up entrepreneurship program, in other to facilitate job creation opportunity for the young and unemployed in the state.
These and indeed other inspirations, gave the impetus to propose a youth empowerment center in Kachia Nigeria.