Youth Agenda Affirmative Action

Youth Agenda Affirmative Action

Monday, 10 October 2016

Tales From Lodwar

Now you Know I wasn't going to just Not tell you how fabulous Lodwar was, I mean aside from the fabulous Women leaders we met, Lodwar is just wonderful.

The team and I had a great time trekking about and discovering Lodwar, though I must admit almost half of it was from standing at a point and looking off into the landscape ;-)

My top things about Lodwar were:
1. The weather
If you love sunshine, well I'll tell you  Lodwar is for you, let me tell you what that sun does to you is equivalent to spending the day at the Spa! I kid you not.

2. The People
The people there are so friendly and open to everyone, and the culture that runs through the town gosh! Its absolutely beautiful. I just loved the way the women wore intricate beadery there is just no forgetting where you are when you are there.

3. Mlima Lodwar
This is the highest point in Lodwar, (it really isn't very high) but... the best part is they have their own version of 'Christ The Redeemer'  atop the hill. It's really what inspired us to want to go up the hill. If you want to go all the way up you better check with the catholic church first since they are the caretakers of the site

4. The Basket Market
The market covers a small area in Lodwar town but there is no shortage of lovely steals from this market. The Turkana women make the most beautiful baskets and woven crafts. From laundry baskets to friut baskets and mats you will be sure to find something just right for you.

For my short stay, that was as far as my explorations led me, but I hear Eliye Spring and the Lake Turkana Beach are a treat, I'll be sure to visit next time

Until the next exploration, stay fit and remember #VoteADada

Friday, 7 October 2016


As I descended down to Lodwar Town, I can tell you for a fact I had no idea what to expect. All I had to go on were the statistics from the baseline we conducted and tales from other colleagues journeys. Before you ask me what I'm going on about, let me back up and start from the beginning.

Last year, Youth Agenda went on quest together with its partners Oxfam & FIDA-Kenya; as the 2/3 gender representation went raging on in the country, we sought to tackle the issue of underrepresentation of women through a different angle. We hoped to create space for the Kenyan woman to be represented through election; if women were elected to legislative seats we would not need to resort to back up plans to meet the constitutional requirement right? its brilliant! I know!

Going over how to get equality in representation #VoteADada

Now, your probably going to ask me why we are fretting about it if its as simple as that, or why are we even bothered with 2/3, heck I even get asked why we need to have women representation or better yet what have the women who are there done for us? I'm going to give you a few facts:

Fact #1- Women are equal to men insofar as leadership is concerned
Now before you gentlemen chant 'off with her head' let me break it down. Traditionally we have different roles- boys herd sheep, girls fix up the home, in 2016- We ALL go to school. We are both socialized the same way, put through the same system and line up side by side at  graduation so, see? Equal.

Fact #2- According to the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, women in Kenya are approx. 60% of the population, I think that alone warrants some form of representation where decisions are being made.

Fact #3- In Kenya, 93.7% of men vs. 6.3%  have been elected since Independence! That's 2,115 men against 142 women.

Fact #4- I have never, not once been asked why should I vote for a man (as opposed to a woman). I am a firm believer that we should vote for a politician man or woman based on what they can do for me and my community- tricky in this Kenya, I know but still I hold firm to that belief. However if in doubt and you truly want to compare please feel free to check out Mzalendo to find out what your current elected & nominated members of parliament have been upto.

Back to Lodwar, So we have this campaign to get women elected #VoteADada which we launched in Nairobi back in August, now we were in Lodwar to launch in Turkana county. For those of you who know about Turkana politics, you know its not very gender balanced: There are NO women elected in Turkana county, No MCAs, No Senators, No Constituency MPs, No Governor, Nothing! The only person left to represent the women of Turkana is the County Women Representative, and if you have followed legislative proceedings, then you know that 1 representative really not a lot to go on.

Based on that you probably think that the people of Turkana are fairly unreasonable right? I mean ONE woman? WRONG, as I mentioned earlier, we did a baseline in the county to find out they think of women in leadership- 85% of Turkana's are perfectly happy to vote for a woman! Well imagine THAT! For us this means the time is ripe to present women candidates to the electorate.

On my way to Lodwar, I thought to myself, I maybe we can find one or two women seriously willing to take up the challenge, I couldn't have been more wrong! i didn't find one or two... I found 80! 80 women willing to step forward and represent their people and provide sound, good leadership. I must say my mind was blown... and listening to these women I couldn't help but think someone should shine a spotlight on these women and amplify their voices because we could all learn a lot from them. 
80 Women Aspirants in Turkana
Their resilience, and hope & dreams for their community is a testament that women too can provide good leadership, and the burden for change they carry is akin to a mothers hope and dreams for their child.

The women of Turkana have pledged to #VoteADada, will you vote for them?

Turkana Women Aspirants

Thursday, 5 May 2016


Today the society has been inflicted with a 'disease' that is unstoppable and now in my opinion worse than the most common diseases known to lead to death.This disease has been slowly moved from window period to full blown stage,this disease is corruption. Since the 90's it has always been there but with time,it has not been cured but disseminated widely in different regions.

According to statistics; our country is one of the most corrupt this is due to power which affects everyone.This basically includes from rich to poor,corruption has eaten up approximately 65% of the Kenya's economy.What has really irritated youths like me, is the poor usage of funds provided by the government.Other than that lets look at the latest incidents that has happened in Kenya that is;Huruma tragedy after the downpour of rain that occurred last week on Thursday.

This tragedy literally brought the economic development to a halt. This is because;money will be used up to compensate the victims affected by this event.At the same time lets look the main cause of this tragedy?CORRUPTION simply because,a few people feel they are willing to consume huge sums of money unfairly at the cost of millions of lives at a risk.
This broke my heart to see the little babies and their family members helplessly being carried out of the rubble with dust on their faces and nothing could be done.Some were fighting for their lives in hospitals for the future awaits them.

Another occurrence that has led to so many lost opportunities, is the mishandling of funds within the government.Look at the Youth Enterprise Funds they literally have misused funds,this includes irregular tenders and the board self interest.This scandal has been going on for sometime and now,it trickles down to the youth being affected by just the top officials misusing funds for their own use. This is one of the reasons most organisations in Kenya are not acquiring donor-funding.It is very unfortunate for such events to occur,look at the youth who were hoping for little capital to start up their business enterprises and also those who needed that amount of money for farming per say.What happens to them?

This question keeps lingering in my mind,why do the top officials have to misuse funds yet the youth in the society need it more?For development to occur we need to FIGHT CORRUPTION and this starts with us,as the youth.I believe that INTEGRITY is being able to say no even when no one is looking,but unfortunately when i talked to a few of the youth they felt its a challenge.Their reasoning is ;if they are eating why not us?That caught my attention and made me realise how, power and leadership can really influence how the youth behave in their day to day activities.

For this disease to be cured we need to work together to stop it.A famous writer Ted stated that; the most deadly disease is corruption and the cure is transparency.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016


A recent survey conducted by Aga Khan East Africa Institute sent waves across the country with its findings. The gist of it, or what stood out the most was the fact that a majority of Kenyan youth are okay with making money by any means provided one is not caught should some of those means be illegal. From this conclusion, logic demands that we keep the youth away from public funds as much as possible, if what is happening at the youth development fund is anything to go by. But is that really the solution to the erosion of our society that has pervaded our young minds?
 I think not. Perhaps the solution lies in allowing the youth to have a significant voice in how they are governed. This can only happen once young leadership is taken seriously in Kenya. 

Below are a number of reasons why it is of paramount importance to immerse the youth in the governing processes of the country and most especially the leadership.

A delicate balance between idealism and realism.

Young people from teenage hood to early adulthood tend to be idealistic. They recognize the problems facing the world and they have grandiose often unrealistic ideas on how these problems can be solved. Youth who have attained the age of vying for elective political positions are bound to have attained a certain level of realism that would allow them to formulate and contribute to the laws of the country. Older people tend to lack some idealism which dims the political will to introduce change since they tend to accept things as they are. Young leaders will offer the much needed delicate balance between the two extremes of idealism and realism.

         Young people are more receptive to change.
A lot plagues our country from graft, to poverty to bad leadership. Young people tend to be more flexible as far as initiating and adapting to change is concerned. They refuse to accept the status quo especially if it is retrogressive. There is no doubt that a lot needs to change in the way we govern our country for the sake of all Kenyans. Who is better than the youth to advocate for their fellow young people and initiate the rest of the country into an era of good, reliable governance.
  They are the best poised to address issues affecting the youth socially, economically and politically.
No one understands the issues affecting the youth as much as the youth themselves. Older people may argue that they were once young hence they are just as equipped to address youth issues. Unfortunately, this claim is not entirely accurate. The older generation and the younger ones are living in different circumstances and facing very different challenges especially socially, politically and economically. During President Daniel Arap Mois' regime, young people in universities had a significant voice in political matters. Perhaps they had a greater vested interest or political will. It is for this reason that more young people need to get into political leadership so as to make other young people politically vested.
    Young leadership allows government to take advantage of new innovations and technologies.
Young people have an easier way of communicating with one another. Should more youth get into leadership opportunities, young innovative Kenyans may feel more at ease about approaching the government with their innovations since they know that their young representatives will give those innovations the excitement and attention they deserve. The youth also tend to be more open to technological strides. With Kenya’s intent to become a digital nation, taking advantage of youth leadership will be to everyone’s advantage.

  Investing in young leaders increases their knowledge and practical skills, strengthening their social interest and nurturing long-term commitment to entrepreneurship and creative health solutions.

If Kenyans expect better leaders who make better choices for the future, we need to start investing now by providing the youth with opportunities that nurture good leadership and result oriented qualities.

Youth participation guarantees sustainable dialogue, mutual respect and understanding of young people’s needs and a shared vision for action.
The youth need to be involved in policy making particularly in issues that affect them such as economic policies, education and health; when viewed in perspective, you realize that youth are affected by every facet of nation building. Through inclusive leadership we allow for different strategies in dealing with the youth as compared to other groups so as to adequately meet the needs of all citizens.
  Ensures the future generation is equipped with competencies necessary for strong leadership.
With the current challenges that Kenya is facing especially as pertaining to graft and misconduct in public offices, involving the youth now rather than later allows for consistent action in fighting against graft and adoption of strong leadership practices by the youth which can then be passed on to future generations.

     Economical factors
A study conducted by the World Bank in 2008 showed that the GDP of a country declines when its youth are not active participants in the society. Active participation should be political, social and economical as all these issues are intertwined in ensuring the sustainable development of a country and its ability to compete with other middle and higher income countries.

       Its about time
Kenyans need to stop talking and simply act in involving the youth in leadership. The youth also need to rise up and demand for space in the country’s leadership instead of waiting for the opportunities to be handed to them.

Disclaimer: some of the ideas expressed in this article have been borrowed from

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Growing talent for development in Kenya

The national youth policy (2006) of Kenya defines youth as between 15 to 30 years. The majority of Kenya’s population falls in this gap. Youth in Kenya are talented in sports, the arts and entertainment. The youth unemployment problem is on the increase as Kenya’s universities churn out thousands of graduates each year. Realistically, the number of graduates produced every year cannot be absorbed into the labour force of Kenya. This seems to be the development dilemma every government faces.

With the coming in of the Jubilee government in 2013, the jubilee manifesto focused mainly in investing on the youth through improvement of education, infrastructure, and access to opportunities such as SMEs for the youth. However, most of the policies proposed are yet to be implemented 5 years on. The unemployment levels are on the rise as more youth engage in crime and drug abuse as a result.

Many youth engage in talents that is earning them respect from their peers and self-employment. The jua kali sector is a great example of young people using skills and talents to create employment opportunities. Young people are coming together to form bands for example Hart the band, Sauti Sol, Elani among others who use their musical talent to create their own employment and help others coming into the music industry.

Talent is inborn and can also be developed as a result of passion and interest. Other developed nations for instance the United States of America encourage the development of talent potential that eventually drives the economy. Many young people for example in the United States are in the acting industry and earn millions through film production and acting. Education is important and is the foundation of key skill development. However, Talent cannot be overlooked in skill enhancement and development in developing countries such as Kenya.
Africa needs to focus on developing of talents for sustainable development. A talent does not cut off creativity rather enhances it and the youth have a lot of energy that can be put to good use. For instance many graffiti artists are making a living off painting public service vehicles.
If we put this into figures, it results in huge percentages of profit for government.  Many families can afford healthcare, better housing, access to education, food and eventually overcome poverty. Talent development will ensure that the crime rate is reduced as more young people will receive an incentive from using their talents in a positive way to enhance their lives and those of their families.

Talent no doubt drives innovation which leads to sustained livelihoods and economies. There have been innovations in ICT, healthcare, mobile money,among others and still others are coming up. Talent can so easily be used to train others for example ladies who engage in basket weaving, or making of bags and other accessories as a talent can train others hence we have a self-sufficient society and community.

The government needs to create talent development centres for young people to share knowledge and train others to have a self sustaining nation that will drive economic growth through talent development. There needs to be encouragement of talent development over employment. After all not everyone can be absorbed into the market. The alternative plan of action will therefore be to have talent developed and managed properly.

A system of integrity needs to be built to ensure good governance of talent management. There should be a policy on the youth to guide on the institution that will manage the youth affairs in Kenya.

What are your views on talent driving development in Kenya? Leave your views below

Monday, 1 February 2016

Effect Of Climate Change On Youth And Women..

Climate change being one of the most recent included in the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGS).Has become a great concern to the society,which is slowly eating us up.Climate change in easiest terms is a long term change in the Earth's climate.It has a great impact on especially youth and women in the society,the major cause of climate change is ourselves.

Reason being people clear vegetation cover and put up buildings for own usage, the misuse of mineral resources for consumerism.Death of aquatic life due to poisonous gas being emitted in the atmosphere.Timber being used for construction of houses thus lack of tree preservation.A huge population of people who of course cannot live on an empty stomach need food and this is a challenge to agriculture due to misuse of land resources.

Now lets ask ourselves the effects of climate on our youth and women?

  • Dependency on natural resources as A source of living,evidently more women and youth are turning to Agribusiness because of lack of jobs and also as a way of supporting family members.This can be hard at times because of climate change.
  • Women are vulnerable in that;in the African Context, they are seen to be performing house chores thus most did not get a chance to get education.
  • It has also led to more poverty since, the lands are drying up the water is not there for domestic purposes.
  • It has largely contributed to low productivity of food since, climate change has affected crops and has led to death of livestock to due diseases.
  • Cultural restrictions lead to lack of capacity for women, to access information on how to take care of their crops and animals.
  • Increase in Maternal deaths this is because,due to climate change there is higher chances of malaria to spread all over the country.This  pregnant women can not afford mosquito nets and after contracting malaria the immune system becomes weaker and therefore they end up dying.
  • The harsh climate can lead to not being able to work because of disease affecting the body.Youth who are said to be the pillars of the nation now find it hard to work because of the different diseases.
  • Come up with trainings and create awareness to the public on the hazards of climate change.
  • Avoid overexploitation of natural resources that is deforestation,air pollution,and many more.In essence take care of the environment.
  • Minimize on the usage of electrical appliances.
  • Adapt recycling methods because this prevents more pollution in the environment.
  • Avoid processed foods go natural at least eat planted crops this processed foods lead to cancer.
We could go on and on but let me leave it here...lets work together to stop CLIMATE CHANGE

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Youth in Leadership and Governance

With the first of its kind forum initiated last week on Friday 22nd January 2016, student leaders from various varsities and colleges in Kenya gathered at Moi University Nairobi campus for training and discussions on how well they can influence the youth they represent in terms of leadership and governance of this country. This has come at a right time as more youth need to engage and participate in leadership and governance of this country because the future of the youth is in their hands and as such need to participate in shaping it.  

As we want to see more youth in leadership and governance and the next general election is approaching fast, these student leaders from various varsities and colleges in Kenya should move with haste in influencing the youth foster achievement of the country’s vision through good governance and leadership by engaging them to take up leadership and governance positions.

This kind of forum avails the student leadership with a platform to engage industry players and at the same time giving the young leaders an opportunity to enhance their leadership skills through the training that these leaders will be going through.

The student leadership fraternity of Kenyan Universities will benefit and go a long way in enlightening these young leaders in our country in terms of the Country’s values and ethics and instil a sense of duty.
The role of a leader is not to rule but to guide and empower the people that they lead, leadership is about giving and empowering others other to be to the level where they are strong enough to lead a valuable life. This forum is a step in the right direction and at the right time where we need to see the role of the youth in leadership and governance as of paramount importance, in achieving good leadership and governance in a fair and transparent manner.

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