I find myself lost between a rock and a hard place when I have to articulate issues’ regarding the youth. Being a youth in this generation comes with a lot of opportunities and challenges but in a developing country, I think the latter takes charge.
Talk to any youth in Kenya and they all have various issues they would change if given the mandate. The older generation questions how would they do this? What would be the impact of the change? When I think about youths the first thing that crosses my mind is, one day Kenya should replace all existing leaders with the youth, but how practical is that?
A reader to this blog should not think I do not give credit where due, in Kenya for instance, my home country, the government in 7th December 2005 established Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports which was established to address the socio-economic issues affecting the youth.
That was a big plus to Kenyans under the age of 35. According to a survey done in 2009, the youth constitute 35.4% of the national population of Kenya.
With the elaboration of a new national development blueprint, the Vision 2030, that aims at making Kenya a middle income country the year 2030. It is my hope that in pursuit of the goals of the vision, there will be a platform of making the youth better people in promoting both internal and international competitiveness.
Focusing on the main issues that are affecting the youth, I would want to place unemployment as one of the major issue we have to tackle in Kenya. Youth potential in various sectors has not been effectively tapped and thus many of the youth end up very frustrated. This situations create much anxiety among them (youth) leading to the many demonstrations that we see.
Being a youth I strongly feel that lack of employment is one major challenge that needs to be combated. In a census report released in 2009 only 39% of about 11 million youth are absorbed in the job market and the remaining 61% are left jobless and many of them are living below the poverty line of less than one US Dollar per day.
This is a major concern considering that education is the mother of all problems. I always tell people that without education then our nation cannot prosper. Who is most affected with this scourge? The youth. Majority of the youth in Kenya have low levels of education and that is the reason most of them cannot get a place to earn a living. This thus begs the question, Are youths equipped to be drivers of change?
Another dynamic that I have suffered from is lack of employment venues. In my lower levels of education I always thought that life was smooth sailing but when I finished my tertiary education, it was not that easy. At some point I got discouraged when many said that, if you do not know somebody in a high position you do not make it to get a job.
I would at the same place want to give my fellow youths courage as we approach The International Youths Day that with education we do not need to know people because your attained certificates talk on your behalf.
With the day being dabbed: Building a better world, partnering with youth it would be my call that the youth engage among themselves and trace back their footsteps to identify venues of change with an aim of becoming better drivers of the same change.
If given the mandate to take charge of leadership in Kenya, I would give the youth all the limelight they deserve. I am greatly convinced that youths are the main drivers of change, they are equipped with innovative minds to bring about the desired change.