Government embarks on a massive youth programmes, reveals Prof. Kobia
Nairobi, May 29, 2018
The Government has embarked on mega youth training and internship programmes aimed at securing employment and skills development through the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Programme (KEYOP).
This was revealed by the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Professor, Margaret Kobia in a speech read on her behalf by the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry, Hon. Rachel Shebesh during the launch of the Youth Mainstreaming Workshop at the Kenya School of Government, Nairobi on Tuesday.
CS Kobia said that the programme targets youth aged 18-29 years who are unemployed and are up to Form 4 level education.
“Over 70,000 youth will be given an opportunity to get at least a four-month workplace experience over the next five years. Youth mainstreaming should be viewed as a comprehensive and positive approach aimed at eliminating inequalities between men and women at all levels to catalyse development in all sectors”, Prof Kobia noted.
“The Government continues dedicating resources to youth empowerment initiatives and seeks to put in place policies that will create opportunities for our young people with the aim of boosting Kenya’s development, create wealth and employment for the youth”, CS Kobia added while emphasizing that youth mainstreaming in socio-economic development should be based on the understanding that young women and men have different life experiences.
Toward this end, the Cabinet Secretary noted that President Uhuru Kenyatta has set a vision with a promise for the youth, which has core opportunities for employment, participation in governance, enterprise development, education and skills enhancement, health, well-being and peaceful coexistence for all.
Outlining several measures being put in place to mitigate on youth mainstreaming, Prof Kobia cited the progressive constitution which provides for equal treatment of women and men, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres.
In addition to the Constitutional provisions, CS Kobia further noted that Kenya’s economic development blue print, the Vision 2030, clearly embraces mainstreaming as a strategy to poverty reduction by envisioning investments targeting the youth, in its ambitious goal of providing high quality of life to all citizens by 2030.”
Further, She pointed out that the government has set aside a minimum of 30% of all its entire procurement through Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), to enterprises owned by the youth, women and persons living with disabilities (PLWDs), thus broadening affirmative action- a major milestone in its efforts to mainstream youth, gender and persons with disability.
Prof. Kobia also said that the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, the Women Enterprise Fund and Uwezo Fund continue to provide support to young people who wish to start or expand their enterprises.
The Cabinet Secretary reminded the participants that the workshop, which brings together youths from the East Africa region, is intended to provide them with an opportunity to interacte, exchange ideas and learn from one another in the spirit of delivering the overall goal of bringing young people to the core of socio-economic development.
Concluding her remarks the CS hailed the Commonwealth Secretariat for their support in sponsoring the event saying the gesture will deepen this partnership towards the full realization of empowerment of young people.
“To all our partners and stakeholders, we want to assure you of our continued commitment to work with you in our efforts to empower the youth,” Prof. Kobia said.
Others who spoke were Head of Social Policy Division and Commonwealth Secretariat Mr. Layne Robinson.
Mr. Robinson assured that Commonwealth Secretariat would continue partnering with the countries in the region to strengthen youth mainstreaming agenda.
REPUBLIC OF KENYA
MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SERVICE, YOUTH AND GENDER AFFAIRS
Ladies and Gentlemen
I wish to congratulate you on your election as Chair of the Bureau of the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
Kenya aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, as well as the statement delivered on behalf of the African Group.
The Constitution of Kenya guarantees gender equality and women empowerment and today, Kenya is on track in the implementation of the Beijing platform for Action.
Gender Equality is at the centre of Kenya's national development and enjoys political commitment at the highest level from H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, The President of the Republic of Kenya.
The President has unveiled four key priority areas for his Government namely:
Food security and nutrition; Value addition and manufacturing; Universal health coverage; and Low-cost housing. These focus areas, dubbed the 'Big Four', will have a major impact on women and girls living in rural areas, and build on the gains already made.
In the Health Sector, the Government of Kenya has committed USD 43 Million to fund Free Maternity Services. This has contributed to an increase of deliveries in health facilities from 52% in 2003 to 61.2% and decline in Maternal Mortality Rate from 488 per 100,000 deaths in 2008 to 362 per 100,000 in 2014. Kenya's First Lady, through her Beyond Zero Campaign on maternal and child health has catalysed actions towards strategic partnerships for health.
The Government is committed to achieving universal health coverage. So far over 56% of the total population is covered by the National Health Insurance Fund.
Agriculture remains the backbone of Kenya's economy, directly contributing 24% of the annual GDP and another 27% indirectly. Sixty per cent (60%) of the total employment is agriculture linked. In rural areas, 80% of the population, of which 60% are women and girls, derive their livelihoods from agriculture. The Government's strategic focus is expected to improve agricultural production in Kenya with a direct bearing on rural women and girls.
On Women, the Economy and Poverty, the Government policy on the 30% procurement, reserved for youth, women and persons with disabilities has had significant impact. To date, USD 40 million worth of Government tenders have been allocated. Affirmative Action Funds, have benefited over 3 million people countrywide, majority of whom are women.
The Government is opening up rural areas by investing in physical and social infrastructure and enabling women and girls to thrive economically and lessen time burden. In 2017, Government constructed 3800 km of low volume road and expanded major roads in rural areas.
The Last Mile, a rural electrification programme, plans to connect 70% of Kenya in the rural area and to reduce connection cost and time by 60% in the medium term. So far, 5 million households, 14,950 public schools and 9840 public facilities have access to electricity.
To harmonize integration of agriculture and energy, reduce the burden of collecting firewood on women, mitigate against unpaid care work, for women in rural areas, the government is distributing 1.2 million gas cylinders and supporting women in adopting LPG gas. This is expected to eliminate challenges of bio fuels such as negative health impacts, economic burden, environmental degradation and pollution.
On Mobile Money Technology, over 196,000 subscribers in the rural areas, the majority of whom are women, can transact financial services of great benefit to their living standards and economic activity. Currently 30.6 0/0 of women have access to banking services.
On women representation and decision making, the Country is making progressive steps to accelerate gender parity in political participation and representation, both in elective and appointive positions through the Constitutional provision of 'not more than 2/3 gender principle'.
Noteworthy is the increased proportion of women in national and local assemblies; expansion of democratic spaces in previously male dominated spheres e.g. three newly elected women in the position of Governors. Women in influential dockets of: Foreign Affairs, Health, Education, Lands, Defence, Public Service, Gender and Youth.
In the Education sector, the free primary and secondary education and provision of free sanitary towels targeting 4 Million Girls, has significantly increased both the Gross Enrolment Rate and Net Enrolment Rate and boosted retention of girls living in rural areas. Today Kenya has achieved gender parity in primary school enrolment.
Kenya continues to strengthen the legal and policy framework that secures and underpins gains made in achieving gender equality and women empowerment, two critical legislations that entrench principles of gender equality and that enable women land ownership, will see the per cent of women who own land increase from the current figure of 20%.
To mitigate the effects of gender-based violence and harmful practices various legal, policy and programmatic interventions are being implemented.
A joint UN/GOK GBV programme focused on prevention, protection, prosecution programming and consolidating partnerships was launched and complemented by GBV hotlines, referral centres and capacity building for duty bearers.
In conclusion, I wish to re-affirm our commitment to accelerate the realization of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls living in rural areas, and welcome continued collaboration with local, regional and international partners who contribute to the achievement of our goals.
I thank you.