The Youth Agenda
Launch of Dira Yetu: Youth Priorities for the Kenya Vision 2030 2013-2017 Medium Term Plan
Hilton Hotel, Nairobi, 14 December 2012
Remarks on Youth Involvement on KV2030
My fellow youth, ladies and gentlemen. It is my pleasure to share with us this morning. This is a great milestone for the work of the Youth Agenda in ensuring that the youth factor counts in policy decisions of this country. KV2030 work began in 2005 and was seen as a great way of advancing the gains that were expected from the implementation of the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (ERSWEC 2003-2007). In June 2008, KV2030 and its first Medium Term Plan 2008-2012 were launched. This was after the formation of the grand coalition government which was occassioned by the disputed presidential election that triggered violence. It is important to note that the idea of a national vision was actually started by young people. In 2003 under the leadership of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Kenya), 42 young people came together and developed the Promise of Our Generation which spelt a vision for Kenya. This was picked by the government and we think it led to the conceptualization of KV2030. It is thus sad to note that the young people were not as much involved in its crafting and have been in the dark as to its provisions. This is despite the fact that it is a vision for them.
It is therefore praise worthy that the Youth Agenda too the cue and in 2009 began a process of having the youth engage in the implementation of KV2030. This was with the publishing of a critical review of KV2030 by Kenya's youth. Since then they have held many public forums across the country and partnered with the key agencies involved with the implementation of KV2030. In this line I am convinced that the youth of this country have participated in laying a strong foundation for growth. engagement with KV2030 has brought a number of issues to fore. First is that while zeal for change is good; skill to design and deliver that chánge is much ´better. This has been by the call to make clear proposals on what needs to be done and how best it is to be done. Secondly is that while there should mechanisms for wealth redistribution, there is a greater and more urgent need to think about production at source. This is the concept where focus is more on identifying regional and local potentials and supporting their growth. Redistribution assumes that there is sufficient production controled by a central power (in this case the national government). Given the productive potential of young people, our focus should be more on what we can produce for ourselves in our localities and not just what can be given to us. A third lesson is that our engagement needs to be more informed, strategic and timely. This means that we need to invest sufficient time in preparing ourselves for public engagement. The opportunities we seek will be of no value to us unless we have adequate preparation. Only then can we and the people we serve enjoy our contribution.
The challenge of our generation is hence to be solution providers and not just recipients. We must role up our sleeves and engage on what we have. We need to identify our niche of engagement and give it our best. KV2030 will come to be when most of us will be at the peak of our careers and for the older ones approaching retirement. What kind of country do we want to spend our sunset years in? That is the country we should help build and am convinced that KV2030 is the way to get there. This is a responsibility we can not delegate nor abdicate without facing harsh consequences. Let us make this year of Jubilee to be our time of increased impact for generations to come.
Thank you very much.
Abraham Rugo Muriu