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Kenya’s youth advocate wins top African Humanitarian Award

Kenya’s youth advocate, Raphael Obonyo, has clinched the 2017 Pan African Humanitarian Award. Mr Obonyo was awarded the coveted prize last week at the Pan African Humanitarian Summit, in Dar es Salaam.

The award recognizes the impact of Mr Obonyo’s work on social leadership, youth empowerment and his persistence in voicing out youth issues development in Africa.

At the award ceremony, the jury also noted that Mr Obonyo, through his organization, the Youth Congress of Kenya has for the last 10 years been training youth from informal settlements in Nairobi on entrepreneurship and sourcing grants for their business start-ups.

This, they said, had gone a long way to instill socio-economic stability in thousands of youths, create employment opportunities in the informal Jua Kali sectors, and to minimizing poverty and criminal activities.


Currently, over 15000 youths are beneficiaries of the youth entrepreneurship programme which is run by the Youth Congress of Kenya.

The jury also noted that Mr Obonyo had through the Obonyo Foundation promoted the education of disadvantaged young people in slums, through merit and non-merit based scholarships.

Mr Obonyo, a public policy expert, was last year named the Runner-Up in the 2016 UN Persons of the Year for his contribution to youth empowerment.

He is the author of Conversations about the Youth in Kenya. Other awardees included the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, former President of Tanzania.

This was the third edition of the Pan African Humanitarian Summit and Awards, an annual event that recognizes personalities who have demonstrated kindness in building and supporting the less privileged in their communities in Africa.