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Young people want new youth policy effected

Friday September 13 2019

Raphael Obonyo

Youth Congress convener Raphael Obonyo. He was a member of the ministerial technical committee formed in October in 2016 to steer the review of the policy. PHOTO | COURTESY 

LEOPOLD OBI
By LEOPOLD OBI
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CLAIRE WASILWA
By CLAIRE WASILWA
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The youth have called on the government to speed up execution of the national youth policy to help address problems facing them.

Mr Raphael Obonyo, The Youth Congress convener, says a robust policy would provide a solid foundation for programmes to address youth joblessness and exclusion. 

The review of the policy, which started in 2016, has been slow and thus a blow too many youths, Mr Obonyo observed.

YOUTH POLICY

“Kenya urgently needs an up to date Youth Policy, and that every effort should be made to expedite completion of the review,” he said in a statement.

He noted that Kenya urgently needs an updated legal framework to guide it in handling issues affecting people aged under 40 years.

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“National government addresses youth employment, inclusion among other concerns through policies and programmes, but it lacks an overarching strategic, youth policy. It was vital to review the National Youth Policy (NYP 2006) to ensure that it is compatible with the new Constitution introduced in 2010, as well as other, more recent policies,” he said.

Article 55 of the Constitution obliges the state to take appropriate measures to ensure socio-economic and political development of youth through education, training and employment.

NATIONAL YOUTH POLICY

The article gives Kenyan youth a new claim. For example, youth programmes and projects are now an inalienable right.

“Although the government should be applauded for the initiative to review the National Youth Policy 2006, a process that commenced in 2016, we are deeply concerned with the slow process and the delay to release the reviewed policy that was validated in March 2019 and relayed to the Cabinet for adoption,” Mr Obonyo said.

The youth leader, who was a member of the ministerial technical committee formed in October in 2016 to steer the review of the policy, says the new constitution requires the government to develop the youth through education, training and employment.

“An updated youth policy will provide a framework for youth development at the national and county levels,” he said.

ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

“Continued delay in the adoption of the reviewed youth policy is a hindrance to youth economic empowerment and effective engagement in public activities.

In a report titled “Youth Policy Review: Tracing the steps. Marking the lessons”, the Congress emphasizes the urgent need for adoption of the reviewed national youth policy.

The report details challenges and opportunities young leaders encountered while in the course of advocacy and engagement in the formulation and review of the policy.