STATEMENT BY CS PUBLIC SERVICE AND GENDER,MARGARET KOBIA DURING THE HANDOVER CEREMONY FOR THE STATE DEPARTMENT FOR YOUTH AFFAIRSGood morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome you all to witness this handover ceremony.
At the onset, I wish to express my gratitude to H.E, the President for His continued faith in me as Cabinet Secretary in this administration. It remains a great honour and privilege to serve under His leadership.
Allow me, to also congratulate Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Joe Mucheru on his reappointment as Cabinet Secretary for the newly established Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, Innovation and Youth and appreciate his strong leadership in driving the agenda of youth in ICT. The mandates of our two Ministries enjoy strong synergies and I look forward to continued partnership.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Unemployment is by far the most pressing challenge for us as a Government where the youth are concerned. At the same time we are confronted by a rapidly changing world where technological advancements such as artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, and automation are disrupting traditional economic sectors and creating new ones.
The future is digital.
Every young Kenyan must as a matter of practical necessity acquire basic literacy to use technology and be competent enough to be productive in a digital economy.
These changes and demands call for a shift in our response to youth unemployment. An adjusted approach will ensure that Government interventions are more comprehensive, adequate and relevant so that the youth can be supported more effectively to identify opportunities and exploit these opportunities for their own benefit, that of their communities and the nation at large.
It is for this reason that we applaud the President’s decision to place the State Department for Youth under the same docket with ICT and innovation for greater synergy and impact.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This morning, I will present a detailed brief to the Cabinet Secretary of ICT containing comprehensive reports on key priorities, challenges and opportunities for his appreciation. I however wish to highlight a few key achievements the Ministry has been able to record in relation to its youth mandate since I took office in April 2018;
1. Kenya Youth Development Policy (2019): The policy responds to emerging challenges on unemployment, underemployment, migration, mental health concerns, social ills, radicalization, diminishing value system youth representation and environmental stress. The policy provides for a coordination framework that brings together all state and non-state like minded partners and stakeholders, to more effectively address these priorities and bring the full potential of our youth to bear on Kenya’s development goals.
2. Restructuring of the NYS: The Ministry carried out a review of the National Youth Service (NYS) and through the NYS Act 2019 established it as a body corporate under an non-executive Council. This Council has led the institution in strengthening financial controls, human resource procedures, strategic planning, commercialization, and risk management.
3. Support to “Big Four” Initiative: The State Department has contributed meaningfully to the Big 4 agenda in manufacturing, food security, affordable housing and universal healthcare as well as enhanced achievement of national development goals on tree coverage, blue economy and job creation. 47,250 youth were engaged in food production and 48,250 youth in planting trees.
4. Skills Development and Youth Employability: The Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP) has trained 20,661 youth on job specific skills and placed them in internships within the private secor; 60% have secured jobs. 8490 youth received grants to start small enterprises; 499 received Business Development Services (BDS) and over Ksh 215 million disbursed as grants.
Through the NYS Programme, 28,000 servicemen/women recruits were trained in paramilitary and deployed to NYS Field Units and other Government Agencies to undertake national service duties. Further, 31,500 service men and women were enrolled into TVET institutions in partnership with NYS.
5. Youth Empowerment Centers: The State Department of Youth commenced refurbished and equipped 21 Youth Empowerment Centres to provide ICT access, library, training and arts facilities as well as counselling services to the youth.
6. Enterprise Development & Access to Finance for Youth: The Youth Enterprise Development Fund, disbursed Kshs. 323 Million youth owned enterprises.
7. Pending Bills: All historical pending bills totaling an excess of Kshs 4.Billion have been paid.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our achievements is as a result of extensive collaboration and partnering from internal and external stakeholders. My role as the Cabinet Secretary has been to provide the requisite leadership, direction and environment to inspire and encourage high performance, in the Ministry and to build the requisite networks and partnerships with our key stakeholders within and without Government. I thank you.
I thank the respective Heads of Department, in the State Department for Youth for working towards their targets as expressed in the government’s development Agenda under the MTP III, The Big Four and the Jubilee Manifesto.
As I conclude, I wish to express special appreciation to the Chief Administrative Secretary, the Principal Secretary, State Department for Youth for their leadership and support in helping to achieve this agenda.
Let me end by wishing the Cabinet Secretary Mucheru and the youth team the very best as we work to deliver services to our citizens. I thank you very much and I look forward to our continued partnership.
Today @CSMargaretKobia handed over @SDY_Ke to the CS @MoICTKenya, @mucheru following the presidential directive and re-organization of national government on Tuesday this week to move @SDY_Ke to @MoICTKenya.