Foreign Affairs PS Ambassador Macharia Kamau has urged the 2,500 enlisted for the Kazi Mtaani initiative to take advantage of the programme to gain life skills and earn livelihoods in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Speaking in Mokowe, Lamu during the launch of the exercise the career diplomat said that the life skills gained from the 6 and a half month exercise could propel proactive youths to set up businesses once the economy pick up again after the pandemic.
He was optimistic that the initiative which was to the tune of Kshs 10 billion will economically empower the recruits to be self- reliant and sufficient to start up income generating activities after gaining experience.
“The national government knows the critical role that youths play in building the economy, and it is through the Kazi Mtaani initiative that it acknowledges a need to empower our youths not only with the requisite skills but also with the monetary facilitation to realize their dreams of being productive members of the society,” Ambassador Kamau said.
He further acknowledged the critical role that youths play in the tourism and hospitality sector for which Lamu is known for adding that it is one of the key sectors that has suffered from the COVID-19 crisis.
“The aim of the President through the Kazi Mtaani initiative is to uplift vulnerable groups affected socioeconomically by the COVID-19 crisis,” he opined.
He encouraged the youths to make use of their talents and the opportunities that come their way to build their futures.
Sentiments echoed by Housing PS Charles Hinga together with Ambassador Tom Amolo accompanied the Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary.
“Youths need to engage in initiatives that are positively beneficial not only to them but also to their communities, and the Kazi Mtaani initiative is a step in the right direction of ensuring that the young and most productive generation do not fall prey to drugs and substance abuse during this COVID-19 crisis,” Hinga said.
He commended the public administration officials for mobilising youths despite the logistical challenges in some parts such as the Boni area to ensure that no groups have been marginalized from the youth empowerment initiative.
Education CEC Paul Thairu also spoke during the launch of the Kazi Mtaani initiative and lauded the programme, stating that youths need to look beyond formal employment and equip themselves with productive skills.
“The county government on its part will roll out a Kshs 35 million Youth Fund that will be accessible to youths in the new financial year, and will go hand in hand with the women and persons with disability fund,” Thairu said.
Atleast 270,000 youths will benefit from the phase 2 of the Kazi Mtaani Initiative aimed at cushioning unemployed youths from the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
By Amenya Ochieng