Youth Agenda Affirmative Action

Youth Agenda Affirmative Action

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


The revamped NYS strategy and implementation of the same in some areas like Kibera, is welcome and a move in the right direction. The increasing youth bulge, increased unemployment, increased levels of immorality and indiscipline among young people  have far reaching future consequences in Kenya hence my total support for the well thought out NYS stategy.
Listening to the Cabinet Secretary Ministry  for  Devolution and Planning Ms Ann Waiguru on Cheche Citizen TV last week Wednesday 15th October 2014 on NYS and whose focus is  on socialisation, promoting civic competencies and instilling discipline, it is evident that this new strategy will not only empower the youth but transform our society by 2030.  The service men as she referred to them will have a great opportunity to be the pillars at the county level but only if they instil the same values and skills to those that they will be mentoring.
Well managed, this is a venture all tax payers should be happy about and support since it will contribute to Kenyans economic growth. If 6.7 Billion can be generated from NYS annually, the youth of Kenya will make a name in the history of Kenya. And yes they will do it.
As i further listened to the Cabinet Secretary, she also indicated that the National Leadership and Entrepreneurship Strategy will replace the National Youth Policy which was due for review in 2013. Having gone through the strategy, noting the need to have one policy strategy and guided by the governments priority in the 2013-2017 Medium Term Plan, i believe there are other key issues affecting young people that should be incorporated in a youth policy that are not necessarily a matter of leadership and entrepreneurship.
The success of any youth policy is the responsibility of the entire society and should be  document that  represents a holistic, integrated and coordinated approach to youth development which luckily  was the President commitment in April 2013 when challenged by youth on why his government did not consider having an independent youth ministry. The government through the Ministry of Devolution and Planning should therefore unpack the leadership and entrepreneurship strategy through the public policy process that allows for extensive engagement with stakeholders between government, Kenya Young Parliamentarian Association, County Executives responsible for youth, youth organisation among other key individuals or organisation. The strategy for example does not state which approach will be used to address the alarming drug addictions, reproductive health issues such as early pregnancy among young women and rural to urban migration among others. Moreover, the policy should also clearly define the mainstreamed approach to achieving the youth agenda and similarly have clear affirmative action frameworks and programmes guaranteed in article 55 of the Kenyan Constitution. The national leadership and entrepreneurship strategy in its current state will not sufficiently serve as Kenya’s National Youth Policy. 

Susan Mwongera,
Chief Executive Officer, Youth Agenda

Monday, 13 October 2014

Home bound :)

Let us stop moving. Honestly we are doing more harm than good. Remember before devolution we spent months and months saving up for fare and life in the big city? Because we had limited access to resources that would render us more financially stable through jobs in our rural settings. But all that changed, I’d like to believe. Every day for as long as I can remember there are at least five jobs on the classifieds being offered by the county governments; yes; the very counties we are running away from. So we are in a desperate situation in which we have all flocked the big cities, with no motivation whatsoever to max on funds set aside for us, no proper housing, no proper sanitation (perfect recipe for health constraints by the way), no source of income and a myriad of other problems.
We are so quick to pack up and go because we have this insane misconception that there is automatic employment as soon as we touch base in the big city. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but whoever told you that that is the situation lied! Guess what? An analysis of hands-on data indicates that the counties with high rates of urbanization such as Kisumu, Nairobi and Mombasa tend to have higher levels of unemployment. That is the sad truth. And yes, urbanization equals employment but for how many of us? How about grass root development which is a whole lot likely to give a large number of jobs, and in the comfort of your ‘home’.  We leave so many opportunities in our hope to live the dream without necessarily putting into consideration the burden that it bears. We need to give our best shot in exploiting the opportunities that we are presented with at the county level. Let us turn them into blue print plans for developing our counties and possibly be the revolutionary youth who paved unlimited employment opportunities for consequent youth by getting rid of factors necessitating this rural-urban movement craze that has landed us in a lot of trouble. In any case, charity does begin at home, right? Human determination comes with it an unbridled resilience that liberates us from being victims of consequences. That is why success stories are bred from corners we once deemed impossible. What’s your story? Go back home and start from there. Leave no stone unturned guys. Remember the grass is NOT greener on the other side; the grass is greener where you water it!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

No experience, no job; no job, no experience

Many youth experts and institutions have realized the severity of a deep cutting constraint that is facing today’s youth. In recent times especially, this issue has become more and more emphasized as unemployment continues to be deemed a national disaster.
As we know the job market today, it is a prerequisite of sorts that one must have some experience if one is to stand a chance at a job vacancy; the irony , right? In its most absurd demand, the experience is often a minimum of two years. So what happens to the fresh, well-skilled and learned scores of graduates released into the corporate world each year? They end up adding on to the already unmanageable and rapidly growing unemployed section of the demography.
However, it is clear that the Jubilee government has a genuine interest in mainstreaming the youth agenda thus presenting an obvious disconnect; a thorough disconnect between the government and the job providers both in the private and public sectors.
It is not enough to preach empowerment with no action and that said, it is evident that someone somewhere has failed.
While that stands though, finger-pointing has never worked to this great country’s advantage. So solutions need to be suggested, evaluated, decided upon and implemented.
Many youth organizations (such as the Youth Agenda, the UNV and many more) are on an impactful volunteerism hype, especially following this year’s International Youth Week during which volunteerism was largely preached and defended to be the best possible way to acquire the experience that all employers seek in prospective employees.
With devolution, it seems most favorable that volunteerism programs have a lot of potential to reach far and wide. As such, we would like to call the county and national governments to join forces in initiating and implementing volunteerism programs at county level and to come up with a legal framework to rid the programs of malicious exploitation which strains volunteerism in the world over.
If, really, we look to better the youth’s means of livelihood, since they already know that we have their best interests at heart, then let everyone under whose jurisdiction youth matters fall, work towards promoting volunteerism among the youth as a means of gaining experience prior to employment.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Matters Uwezo

Being in a position where every piece of information regarding the Uwezo Fund is at my every beck and call, I am guiltier than most of you are regarding the staggering and somewhat dismal uptake of the same. The fund has been set up for you. Correction; YOUth. Yet somehow, we still have all manner of excuses to justify our complete lack of enthusiasm in as far as tapping into the fund goes. We want to cry day and night, that this country has no jobs for us; that it is virtually impossible to earn a decent living; to make good money that goes far, far beyond basics and upkeep and that accessing the Uwezo fund is an extremely difficult process.
So, I went about my research to get tiny bits of relevant information to compile into a juicy document that will not bore you with regards to language and format. I compiled it and figured that the following really is all you need to know about the criteria that deem one legible or illegible to access the fund.
The Uwezo fund has only four conditions that we have to adhere to in order for us to be able to access it; top of the list is that we have to form groups (and for crying out loud, how hard can that be?), thereafter we are expected to register the groups using relevant government institutions (this is only so basic and so out rightly a necessary requirement whenever doing anything official so let’s not whine about that one), the groups need to be composed of members aged between 18 to 35 (because that is the age bracket that has you deemed as a YOUth in Kenya) and operate a table-banking structure or any other group fund structure where members make monthly contributions. That wasn’t so hard now was it? I’d like to think that this entry gives you hope and motivates you to apply for the fund. The youth are an obvious priority to the Jubilee government. And I’m not just saying that; remember their manifesto and the actualization of the fund? Or how about the 30% public procurement for the youth, women and persons with disability? So the facts are in their favor, we should strengthen ourselves by taking advantage of the opportunities presented to us.
I feel like they have done their part by availing the funds the final bit is for us to apply and grow ourselves. Besides, you can put food in a baby’s mouth, its decision to chew and swallow is solely dependent on it, right? Have a fruitful week fam!
See you on the UWEZO side!

Image sourced from Google images

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