President Kibaki interacts with the youth.
President Kibaki created a full-fledged Youth ministry on 7TH December, 2005. The mandate of this ministry is to address the concerns of the youth, who are a critical constituency in the country. They are the majority age group, and by reason of their age, the owners of the present and future of the country.
The youth constitute 60 per cent of the Kenya’s total population.
The creation of the Youth ministry is, therefore, a special gesture by the President on the deliberate strategy by his Government to reverse past injustices against the youth and re-assure the future of the country.
The ministry is conceived to give the youth a sense of belonging and mainstream their ambitions and aspirations in all sectors of governance.
Since its inception, the ministry has initiated wayforward discussions with stakeholders, including development partners, youth serving organizations and individual youths. This is meant to establish broad based, democratic and collaborative working relationships in tackling and anticipating issues facing the youth of this country.
The ministry’s key strategic areas include:
Revamping the National Youth Service (NYS)
Ksh.250million has been set aside for this task.
Over 600 former street children rehabilitated through enrolment for NYS.
Youth being trained in vocational and technical skills.
Money already allocated to buy modern equipment and uplift standard of training.
Stalled NYS buildings along Thika Road completed and occupied.
NYS graduates and trainees spearheaded the construction of roads e.g. Bura-Garsen road, building of dykes in Budalangi and Water harvesting in Yatta Canal and Mekilingi in Eastern Province.
A recovery task force already in place to streamline the operations of the NYS, and recover looted property.
Initiating youth development Programmes
Through sound economic policies initiated by Government such as the revival/rejuvenation of stalled and stagnated Government projects/institutions and sectors, employment opportunities for the youth have been created directly or indirectly across all key economic sectors
The Government hosted the Global Youth Employment Summit [YES] in September 2006, which was attended by over 2000 delegates from over 120 countries. The objective was to give the youth an opportunity to participate in charting the way forward in search of viable and realistic ways of creating employment opportunities for themselves.
The ongoing investment in rural electrification is creating opportunities for youth to start micro-enterprises.
Youth Enterprise Fund
The Government has set aside an initial Ksh.1billion to lend to young entrepreneurs. This fund is meant to address the traditional inability by the youth to access credit due to lack of collateral. It is expected that the fund will go a long way to facilitate substantial growth of gainful employment across the country.
All the youth in Kenya will have an equal opportunity in accessing the fund.
Tree Planting Initiative
This programme, codenamed “Planting Our Future,” is aimed at securing employment by regenerating the environment.
The youth are encouraged to establish commercial tree nurseries in their respective localities to earn a living as well as conserve the environment.
A pilot programme already in place at Yatta in Machakos.
Support for Innovation
Ksh.50million has been set aside to support various innovative youth projects across the country.
Reviving Youth Polytechnics
Ksh. 500,000 has been earmarked for all the 210 parliamentary constituencies in Kenya for the construction/ renovation and equipping of youth village polytechnics.
The National Policy on Youth Polytechnics is being drafted.
Curriculum is being reviewed to harmonise this sub-sector with the modern day needs
To improve the physical image of youth polytechnics, a model design has been commissioned.
National Youth Policy
This policy is already in place. It will help to guide youth development and empowerment initiatives.
Kenya National Youth Council (NYC)
The process of constituting the NYC is on. NYC shall be a democratically elected youth vehicle charged with articulating all the youth concerns.
Already Ksh.100m has been set aside for the NYC, and an interim council is in place.
Youth and Arts
Special measures, including tax incentives, are being put in place to promote the growth of music and theatre.
Establishment of Resource Centres
This initiative is aimed at generating business incubation and general information centres across the country for the youth.
The future of any nation lies in its youth. The Government fully recognizes the potential and dynamism that young people have, and is harnessing it for faster national development.