Wednesday, August 7th 2019
Youth in Arid and Semi-Arid areas (ASALs) have been challenged to exploit financial interventions put in place by the government to address their specific social- economic needs and to realize empowerment.
Speaking during the launch of the National Youth Week activities on 7th August at Anchor in Samburu County, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Hon. Rachel Shebesh cited the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), which seeks to empower women, youth and persons with a disability by giving these groups 30% of all procurement initiatives without competition from established firms.
“Participation of young people in public procurement is key to create employment, wealth and enhance economic growth and I encourage the young people from Samburu County to compete with other stakeholders for their share of these procurement opportunities,” the CAS challenged the Youth. “In addition, the Government is currently engaging the private sector to extend the same in their own procurements,” she added.
The CAS noted that already, under the Ministry of ICT Ajira Digital Project, the Government has provided 638,400 youth with continuous training and mentorship opportunities for the acquisition of skills to access digital jobs locally and internationally.
Hon. Shebesh said in the current financial year the Government will refurbish 60 more YECs arguing that the plan is to have a fully operational Youth Empowerment Centers in every constituency.
She affirmed that the Ministry is committed in promoting the inclusion of women and youth living with disabilities in social economic development through affirmative action programmes.
“34 billion Kenya Shillings from UWEZO Fund, YEDF, WEF and NGAAF has been given out to 4.5 million beneficiaries across the country cumulatively since inception to support small businesses,” said the CAS. “Huduma Centers have promoted the ease of doing business by cutting down the bureaucracy and making government accessible under one roof at the grassroots,” she added.
On issues of Gender-Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages Hon. Shebesh said the victims need to be empowered to come out and not to continue suffering in silence since it has been criminalized with steepened penalties for the perpetrators.
She stated that the Government has also provided free sanitary towels for students in all public primary and secondary schools as well as all female students in special schools which has reduced school absenteeism and increased transition rate.