Every year the 12th of August is the commemoration of International Youth Day (IYD). The theme for International Youth Day 2019 is ‘Transforming Education’. This year’s event highlighted efforts to make education more inclusive and accessible for all youth and efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves.
Here is President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech during the 2019 International Youth Day celebrations held in Kwale County;
[I am happy to join you in commemorating the International Youth Day – 2019, in Kwale County. This year’s theme, “Transforming Education” is, indeed, timely. It has been domesticated in Kenya as “Boresha Elimu, Wezesha Vijana”.
This is in recognition of the vital role played by education in creating the platforms upon which the Youth explore and develop their skills and talents, acquire knowledge and competencies for a lifetime, and guided onto the path of being positive contributors to themselves, their families, their community and the Country as a whole.
To that end, Kenya has emerged as a continental leader in the deployment of empowering youth education. We lead Africa in primary-to-secondary school transition rates, having realized 100% transition last year.
To better align our education system with the changing needs of today’s youth, as well as the new realities and opportunities of a 21st century world; the Government introduced the Competency Based Curriculum, in addition to creating 102 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) centers of excellence in public secondary schools.
In these centres of excellence, cutting-edge training in areas such as robotics and Artificial Intelligence allows our secondary schools to help mould the next generation of giants in the Digital Economy. We expect to see soon world class innovations being developed by young Kenyans that will revolutionize the world.
I am also pleased to see that the Ministry concerned with matters of Youth has commenced an ambitious plan to refurbish and operationalize a total of 152 Youth Empowerment Centres (YECs) across the Country. These centres act as ‘one-stop shops’, where youth can access key services as well as acquire skills for their personal development. Twenty one (21) of these are already fully operational, with another 60 to be fully functioning by the end of 2019.
We expect each and every Young Person in the country to be able to utilize the services available within these Centres to access online opportunities, acquire new skills and competencies.
Furthermore, the services provided in these centres will enable the youth to build collaborative networks with like-minded enterprising youth in Kenya and internationally, receive training and mentorship, to mention, but a few.
Since 2013, my Administration has implemented a progressive agenda for the youth that has focused on assisting them in accessing financial resources to drive their dreams. One of these is the “Young Africa Works Programme”, launched a few weeks, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, which aims to create more than 2 million jobs in the next 5 years.
Another such initiative is the ‘MbeleNaBiz’ Business Plan Competition under the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project. MbeleNaBiz aims to expand new and existing youth-led enterprises by providing them with grant funding and/or business plan training. I encourage all youth with entrepreneurial talent to take advantage and utilize these and other similar Government
initiatives, to prosper.
Finally, given our position as a Global Leader for the Young Peoples Agenda, I affirm my Administration’s commitment to remain true to the spirit of Article 55 of our Constitution. We will make every effort to ensure our youth realize their full potential and participate effectively in the advancement of the social, economic and political agenda of our Nation.
I thank you all once again for being part of these celebrations and wish you a happy “International Youth Day”.
Thank You And God Bless You.]