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We’ve heard your grievances, CS Ababu tells the youth

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has assured the country’s young population, affirming the government is attuned to their challenges.

Speaking at the Kenya Culture Centre in Nairobi during the International Youth Day (IYD) celebrations, CS Ababu conveyed the message to numerous unemployed youth who gathered for the event.

Addressing the crowd, CS Ababu emphasized that the youth have advocated for an environment fostering creativity and skills. This aspiration is aligned with this year’s IYD theme, “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World.”

Pencil sketch artist Najib Jamal (left) and Justin Onsare work on some of their art pieces during celebrations to mark International Youth Day held on August 11, 2023 at the Kenya Cultural Center. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Green skills for youth: towards a sustainable world”. With them is Billy Kisia. Picture by Francis Nderitu

While acknowledging that several youth initiatives have remained unrealized, the CS assured that the Kenya Kwanza government is ready to listen to and collaborate with young people from all corners of the country.

He announced impending revisions to existing initiatives and structures, indicating that concrete action is underway.

The National Youth Council (NYC) was singled out as a focal point for reform by the CS. He recognized that the structure of this institution needed an overhaul to better address the daily needs of the nation’s young population.

“I have received many petitions regarding the National Youth Council,” stated CS Ababu, “I want to announce today that we have instituted a process that will drastically overhaul the name structure of the National Youth Council to become a true representative of the voice of, and the dream of the youth of Kenya.”

The National Youth Council is one of the areas that the CS pointed out that needs to be overhauled to meet the day-to-day needs of young people.

“I also know that the youth of this country are frustrated by the structure of institutions of representations that are supposed to give an opportunity to invent and governance, democracy and to feel represented.”

Dancers performing on stage during celebrations to mark International Youth Day held on August 11, 2023, at the Hilton Square. PHOTO| Francis Nderitu

During the youth week, the CS said that the government had seen a high level of initiative and innovation in Kenyan youth, which he said will only be realized if the government officials spend less time in offices and spend time with the youth.

“I have met young Kenyans who are already doing the things which some people are still planning…meaning that the youth of Kenya are running ahead of a lot of policies.”

This year’s IYD climax will be held on Saturday, August 12, in Kakamega County, where several government officials and partners will meet.

The CS also officially launched the BeGreen Africa initiative and inaugurated Engaging Kenyan Youth in Agriculture and Nutrition (EKYAN).

During the event, the youth showcased their rich culture in skits, pencil drawing, dancing, poetry, and innovation.

The CS acknowledged the work being done by the youth to change the country, specifically lauding Zacchaeus Wamiti, who invented the football digital substitution board.