Nairobi, July 4, 2017 – Kenyan youth have today called on presidential candidates and their respective parties to include young people in all their party decision making organs in order to ensure that youth empowerment agenda takes centre stage in their plans for the country.
Speaking during the launch of the JIACTIVATE Youth declaration, the presidential aspirants pledged to tackle challenges facing Kenyan youth such as unemployment, food insecurity, corruption and access to healthcare.
The declaration is a product of a consultative process that brought together more 1000,000 youth to address issues facing them through the JIACTIVE initiative. The initiative is a platform which seeks to help young people influence political leadership and policy making.
Launched in May 3, 2017 JIACTIVATE has empowered young people across the country to express their concerns, development priorities and to act as key stakeholders in solving issues which directly affect them.
Sicily Kariuki, the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs said the Ministry would incorporate views and recommendations made by the youth the JIACTIVATE initiative in the new National Youth Policy.
“I encourage you to move forward with this platform, more so to hold duty bearers accountable to the law and to promises and commitments they make,” said Mrs. Kariuki.
JIACTIVATE is an outcome of a GeoPoll survey that identified corruption, unemployment, health care and food security as the biggest concerns affecting youth in Kenya. The survey also reported that 68% of young people said they wanted an easier way to take action on the issues identified in the poll.
Speaking during the launch of the JIACTIVATE Youth Declaration, Ezra Chiloba, the IEBC CEO said the youth had the opportunity to steer the direction of the country’s leadership since they now comprise more than 50 percent of registered voters.
According to the IEBC certified final electoral register, the total number of registered voters now stands at 19,611,423 registered voters and 9,930,315 persons registered are youth between 18-34 years old.
JIACTIVATE Youth Declaration offers a recipe for engaging youth in countering major challenges facing them to promote socio-economic development. “Youth have made their voices loud and clear, and it is the responsibility of our leaders to recognize the vital role that youth can and must play in building Kenya.” said Michael Asudi, Country Coordinator of Organization for African Youth
Under the theme, ‘JIACTIVATE, shaping a Kenya we want to see’ young people call for equal opportunity to have an input in all levels of policy making and collaborate with policy makers in the political, educational, social and economic development of Kenya.
During the event Kenyan youth called upon presidential aspirants and various politicians to adopt the resolutions and make commitments to work on a common vision and road-map towards a strengthened policy framework to support young people. Youth representatives presented the Youth Declaration to the politicians who appended their signatures declaring, “we’ve got the solutions, you’ve got the power, now let’s work together.”