The Swedish Ambassador to Kenya, Caroline Vicini has urged the country’s youth not to engage in violence as Kenya approaches the electioneering period in 2022.
Addressing the over 150 youth attending the 64th Annual National Youth Conference at the Jumuia Conference and Country Homes in Limuru, Vicini noted that majority of those who are used to perpetrate violence are the youth.
She cautioned young people against engaging in violence acts funded by politicians out for their own selfish gain.
“Violence has no good results,” she said. Vicini went on to cite Afghanistan, saying that violence had put the country in its current situation.
Vicini, who was Sweden’s former Ambassador to Afghanistan, drew parallels to her home country, which she said had developed because of peace.
“We have had good fortune in Sweden because of the absence of violence…We haven’t had any war in 200 years,” she added.
The diplomat also noted that the country had a sizeable youth population which she said can be tapped for its growth. “The youth of a country are its biggest assets,” she noted.
“Kenya has a lot of promise to be a leader in various sectors in the region and in the world, since its population is largely dominated by the youth unlike many other countries” she added.
She also remarked that the country has well organized structures, that the young population can be empowered with skills that they can apply to have a positive impact on the society.
NCCK General Secretary, Rev. Canon Kinyanjui, agreeing with the envoy’s remarks urged the youth not to engage in violence but rather to take advantage of their numbers and take up decision making positions.
“Love this country, love peace and refuse to be used to harm any person or property because of different political views,” said Kinyanjui.
He also urged the Government to fast track the implementation of policies and programs concerning the youth.
“We also urge the National Government through the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs to accelerate the Kenya Youth Policy 2019,” he added.
NCCK called for the church and political leadership to give more focus to matters affecting the youth as well.
“This should go beyond talk and should be reflected in inclusion of youth in leadership and budgetary allocations,” NCCK report read.
By Duncan Mutwiri and Grace Naishoo