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Gov’t rolls out voter education for the youth

The government has rolled out a national voter education drive for the youth to help them make informed decisions during the August 9 general election.

Targeting youth leaders from ten regions across the country, the exercise aims at creating awareness on the voting processes to build their capacity since majority of them will be voting for the first time.

Youth leaders are in turn expected to train others within their respective regions ahead of the August 9 polls.

Speaking in Kisumu on Friday during the launch of the training for the Western region, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Innovation Principal Secretary (PS) Jerome Ochieng said the exercise being conducted in collaboration with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), National Youth Council (NYC) and development partners was critical to ensure inclusiveness in the elections.

The youth, he said comprise 70 per cent of the country’s population adding that 30 per cent of them were aged between 18-24 years and will take part in the polls for the first time.

He said the government recognizes the important role the youth play in nation building adding that the National Youth Voter Educators Training Exercise will equip them with knowledge and skills to participate in the elections.

“We recognise the important role the youth can play in transforming our nation through the electoral process and are empowering them to take their rightful place in the governance of our nation,” he said.

Ochieng said the socio-economic development of the country was dependent on political leadership urging the youth to take part in the elections and ensure the right leadership is in place for the stability of the nation.

The training, he added, was in line with the government’s policy to ensure the youth have access to education, training, opportunities and space to participate in political, social and activities.

“It is for this reason that we encourage forums such as this that seek to empower our young people to fully participate and receive the requisite information and knowledge that will allow them to exercise their right to vote in a peaceful manner,” he said.

Over 200 youths from the western region will benefit from the training which covers all the voting processes.

He asked them to impart the knowledge to their colleagues and ensure that they turn up in large numbers to elect leaders of their choice.

Mr Ochieng said the youth must be vehicles of peace to ensure that the elections are held in a free, fair and transparent manner.

He lauded the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for partnering with the government to roll out the training.

By Chris Mahandara

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