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Big 4 agenda presents great opportunities for youth

The government is committed to realizing optimal youth empowerment, through collaboration with the private sector and other stakeholders.

Speaking on Thursday at a Nairobi hotel, ICT, Broadcasting and Telecommunication Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Maureen Mbaka said for the government to achieve the Big-4 Agenda, it would require active engagement of young people.

The CAS was speaking during the official opening of the Impact Philanthropy Africa Youth Forum aiming at creating youth who are job creators rather than seekers.

Themed ‘Youth Empowerment, Employment and Entrepreneurship: Developing a generation of job creators for a better future’, the forum aimed at engaging on the key issues in the youth sector and the way forward in working collaboratively with the government to achieve the youth agenda.

“I believe this forum is apt, happening at just the right time as young people are expected to play a key and positive role in Kenya by being job creators and we look forward to the deliberations made here towards the realization of youth empowerment, employment and entrepreneurship,” said Mbaka.

She highlighted that the government acknowledges that the youth of the country are an invaluable resource to the community and to the future of the country as a whole, with 75% of the population being under the age of 35.

“We need to leverage on the youth dividend as a central resource to scale impact in every aspect of Kenya’s development and the society at large. In 2019, the Government of Kenya adopted the Kenya National Youth Development Policy which provides avenues for meaningful youth engagement through their effective participation in political, economic and social development processes,” she added.

Mbaka underscored the priority of the Kenya Youth Development Policy, 2019 which are broadly classified into eight thematic areas and the role that can be played by both the Government and private sector towards empowering the Kenyan youth with the policy prioritizing 8 areas on which efforts and resources meant for the youth of Kenya shall be focused in the next 5 years.

These areas, she said, comprise a set of interventions that will help Kenya realize a youth population that is empowered, healthy, safe, competent, earning decent livelihoods, creative, innovative, patriotic, and participating in decision making, upholding ethical values, and protecting the environment.

“As a government, we are working towards building a skilled, competent and disciplined youth workforce for sustained social economic development,” reiterated Mbaka adding that the government continues to support training and facilitate the formation of networks for youth in entrepreneurship for information and best practices sharing.

The CAS emphasized on the need for intergenerational and intra-generational conversations between the youth and the elders in society for exchange of ideas on cultural values and mentorship thus the necessity to strengthen the capacity of family, community units and youth leaders to institute passage of positive value systems to the youth.

During an election period, she said, deliberate efforts to promote peace, such as inclusion of youth in community driven security and peace building initiatives should be prioritized.

Speaking on environmental management, tapping on the demographic dividend, Mbaka said there is a need to strengthen the capacity of Youth to participate in mitigating the effects of climate change.

Impact Philanthropy Africa forum is two years old, a self-funded corporate and private charitable foundation working in Kenya to build a culture of corporate social investment policy through advocacy and thought leadership.

By Catherine Muindi

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