Kenyan youth’s call for inclusive governance and action against climate change
Kenyan Youth Demand Inclusivity in Governance and the Fight Against Climate Change
A collective of Kenyan youth, known as the Activista Movement, is advocating for greater inclusion in the country’s governance structure and efforts to combat climate change.
Speaking in Nairobi during the commemoration of International Youth Day, the group urged President William Ruto to fulfill his promises to the youth.
“Today, as we mark International Youth Day, we have gathered to highlight this year’s crucial theme: Green skills for youth, towards a sustainable world. This theme emphasizes the importance of nurturing the skills of our young people and acknowledging their indispensable role in global progress and development,” says Mary Wanjiru, Coordinator of the Activista Movement.
This call comes as Kenya prepares to host the Biennial Devolution Conference next week in Uasin Gishu county, President William Ruto’s home county. The conference’s theme is “10 years of Devolution.”
Mary also stressed the significance of involving youth in the devolution process to address the social issues they face.
“The engagement and empowerment of our youth population are essential not only for the success of devolution initiatives, but also for the overall growth and sustainability of our communities,” she adds.
This year’s International Youth Day theme is “Green Skills for Youth Towards a Sustainable World.”
“To promote meaningful youth inclusion in devolution, we propose focusing on skills development as a catalyst for their empowerment. This approach aligns with the broader goals of sustainable development and economic growth, while equipping young people with the tools to actively participate in shaping their communities,” comments Mamji Susan, Secretary of the Activista Movement.
The Activista Movement consists of youth from all 47 counties in Kenya. They have put forward the following proposals:
Skills Training Programs: Collaborate with educational institutions, vocational training centers, and industry partners to design and implement skills training programs that provide young people with practical, market-relevant skills. These programs should cover various fields, from technology and entrepreneurship to agriculture and healthcare. Green skills, which encompass knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to support a sustainable and resource-efficient society, are of particular importance. These skills will not only address the climate crisis but also contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Entrepreneurial Support: Establish mentorship, incubation, and support networks for young entrepreneurs to encourage innovation, job creation, and economic diversification at the grassroots level.
Community Engagement: Organize workshops, town hall meetings, and youth-led forums that facilitate open dialogue between young people and local authorities. This platform will allow youth to voice their opinions, propose ideas, and actively contribute to decision-making processes.
Digital Literacy Initiatives: Promote digital literacy among youth to enable them to effectively utilize technology for personal and community development. Digital skills are essential for communication, accessing information, and participating in an increasingly digital world.
Recognition and Representation: Recognize and celebrate the achievements of young individuals who make significant contributions to their communities. Encourage their representation in local councils, committees, and decision-making bodies.