Government committed in Empowering the youth, asserts CS Kariuki.
Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Mrs. Sicily Kariuki has reaffirmed that the Government has put in place elaborate measures to finding a lasting solution to the myriad challenges facing the young people in the country.
CS Kariuki made the remarks during the inaugural meeting of the Bipartisan Youth Initiative for Peace and Empowerment held in Nairobi on Friday.
The CS cited the creation of at least 6.5 million jobs for the youth over the next five years saying that efforts will be concentrated on investments in the sectors that are growth oriented and job creating.
Reiterating the Government commitment in investing in the youth and supporting their empowerment, Mrs. Kariuki noted that as the country’s greatest asset, there is need to position them to channel their energies to growing the economy and delivering Kenya’s vision to be a fully industrialized middle income country by the year 2030.
“In order for these investments to continue to bear fruit and the youth to continue earning sustainable livelihoods, there is need to ensure that businesses are not interrupted. Government would be keen to ensure that the totality of investment made in these initiatives is protected for the benefit of subsequent needy cases,” CS Kariuki affirmed.
Additionally, the Cabinet Secretary noted that the Government will improve the quality and quantity of the middle level workforce by aligning the curriculum with the needs of industry, revitalizing youth polytechnics, completing the construction of the 70 Technical Training Institutes (TTIs) and supporting one year paid internships for all graduates of public polytechnics, TIVETs and Universities.
“Government will also be continuing entrepreneurship support for the youth by creating the Biashara Bank by merging the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority, the Youth Enterprises Development Fund, the Women Enterprises Fund and the Uwezo Fund to provide coordination in the delivery of affordable financing and support for business development,” the CS added.
Revealing the establishment of a Youth Development Council to provide coordination of all youth related activities and facilitate the necessary training, skills, CS Kariuki said the Government will be carrying out a continuous Ward, Constituency and County level registration process through the Ajira Platform and link them to potential employers.
“This administration will also expand the participation of young people in national development and guarantee that 30% of all appointments, projects and budgets specifically target them. This coupled with the establishment of Young Professionals Management Programme will prepare highly talented young people to work in the Public Service,” CS Kariuki told the attentive youth leaders.
Noting that since 2013, 45 Huduma Centers are operational in 44 Counties providing 66 Government Services under one roof, Mrs. Kariuki said other incentives are interest free credit through Affirmative Funds namely UWEZO Fund, disbursing over Ksh. 2 billion to about 250,000 youth across the country; Women Enterprise Fund benefiting more than 1 million women, 30% of whom are young women with Ksh. 7.7 billion in the last 4 years; and, the Youth Enterprise Development Fund which has reached over 600,000 youth directly since 2013 with over Ksh. 5.5 Billion.
“Government has additionally focused on catalysing youth economies in all Constituencies in Kenya and instilling a sense of duty, service, patriotism and humanism among the younger generation. This has been done through NYS under which 52,000 youth have undergone in-house training and an addition 250,000 plus cohorts engaged in nation building activities across more than 240 Constituencies in Kenya. These youth are organized into 500 SACCOs with cumulative savings exceeding Ksh. 2.0 Billion,” CS Kariuki added.
On the way forward, Mrs. Kariuki advised the youth leaders to inculcate a sense of ownership and decentralize their meetings to grassroots level for inclusivity so as to bring all on board to chart their future.
“Be careful that your efforts yield genuine results and lasting peace as opposed to being anecdotes of purpose and personal fulfilment for those championing this agenda. Remember to pay attention to youth online communities and build a robust network of like-minded youth who are adequately equipped to use creative tools and knowledge on social media to push the peace agenda, the CS advised
Mrs. Kariuki further advised the youth “not to reward “bad behaviour” by focusing attention and resources on where there is negativity and trouble but instead focus on positively contributing to peace in their communities”.
At the end of the session, the youth leaders issued a joint statement avowing to pursue peace and dialogue regardless of their political affiliation and their determination to creating an enabling environment for all to thrive.