The government has initiated the process of developing a Youth Development Bill that is set to anchor existing youth development policy and other frameworks into law to effectively streamline youth empowerment programs and initiatives.
According to Principal Secretary, State Department for Youth Affairs Charles Sunkuli, the Bill will seek to provide legal backing for the implementation of the Kenya Youth Development Policy.
The Policy created in 2019, proposes guidelines and strategies that will improve the quality of life of youth through their participation in economic, democratic processes and community and civic affairs.
The PS, while addressing a workshop to develop the Bill in Naivasha said the legislation will seek to seal the loopholes that hinders implementation and institutionalization of youth issues as espoused under the new Constitution.
Sunkuli said once enacted into law, the bill will be a transformative instrument of legislation designed and implemented to empower the youth and transform their mindset and create avenues for acquiring skills.
“The Bill will strive to widen the national scope of understanding principles and objectives of development as well as strategies and processes of achieving youth inclusion”, said Sunkuli.
The PS said that the bill will also regulate and harmonize measures and activities undertaken by both governments aimed at improving the social status and position of youth in national development.
Sunkuli said the country’s youth bulge presents the most abundant asset which requires robust and deliberate mechanisms to tap such as engaging all players within the youth space in the country’s development process.
The PS said the government recognizes young people as torch-bearers towards the achievement of the’ Big 4’ and vision 2030 Agendas as well as their contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).
The recognition, Sunkuli said, has seen the government initiate various programs to address persistent risks and challenges by youths including Youth Enterprise Development Fund, National Youth Service and the National Youth Council.
The programs, the PS said, have created youth empowerment platforms, training, savings culture and employment while also facilitating their participation and inclusion in governance, national affairs and development.
Consequently, the PS said the legislative initiative will strengthen the department and obligate all supportive institutions, especially the national treasury, to provide adequate resources to achieve youth empowerment programs across board.
The PS said the law will allow governments to implement youth main-streaming programs anchored on local policy and founded instruments including SDGs, African Union Agenda 63 and the East African Community Youth Policy.
By Erastus Gichohi