Kenyan Youth Position Paper on Post-2015 Agenda
The Kenyan Youth Position Paper on Post-2015 Agenda was developed during the Kenyan Youth Post2015 Synthesis Workshop in Nairobi, between 30th and 31st May, 2013 at YMCA –Kenya, organized by Organization of Africa Youth-Kenya. The workshop had participants from 40 youth led and youth serving organizations. The focus of the workshop was to create more awareness and enable broader youth participation in the Post-2015 Agenda, and release a Kenya Youth Position Paper on Post-2015 Agenda to feed into the National Report
The documents that were synthesized during the youth workshop included:
· African Youth Declaration on Post-2015 Agenda
· Recommendations from the Kenya consultation conducted by VSO and Restless Development
· Outcome of the Monrovia Youth Roundtable
· Communiqué of the Youth Session in Bali Meeting
· Kenyan report of the online Africa Youth Survey on Post-2015- Specific Kenyan voices.
· Millennium development goals : status report for Kenya 2011 (by ministry of planning and Vision 2030)
· Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge (a report by UNFPA and HelpAge)
Youth comprise 75% of Kenya’s adult population and living in today’s complex and challenging times. This group has diverse features such as urban and rural youth, youth with disabilities, youth from pastoralist communities, and youth in formal and informal employment, among others
The majority of Kenyan youth continues to face challenges including but not limited to: exclusion in development processes at national level; lack of skills or quality education; poverty and limited access to economic opportunities. At the same time, the National Youth Council has only been gazetted and not fully operationalized and branches established as per the devolved government as stipulated in the NYC Act.
The processes towards a post 2015 agenda presents the opportunity for young people to achieve optimal functioning and it should be inclusive, integrating young people’s own account of their aspirations and values.
The new goals, targets and indicators should resonate with what is of most value to young people and should in fact be a natural follow-up on the current Vision 2030.
The successes or failures of national implementing the post-2015 framework will be driven by young people as the main beneficiaries of the achievement of the goals.
This position paper presents the outcomes of the Kenya Youth Post-2015 Agenda Synthesis Workshop of 30th-31st May 2013 in Nairobi, bringing together young people representing youth organizations working in different parts of the country. These youth recommendations are to feed into the National Report by the government through the Ministry of Planning.
The underlying recommendation is that the outcomes of the framework be domesticated and made part of the national policy. The MDGs were taken as ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with the enforceability based on political will.
Governance and Participation
Empower the young people through training and capacity building to use social audits & community score cards for social accountability at the national and county level.
Create mentorship programmes for Youth Leaders in governance to promote integrity and ethical values. Promote intergeneration dialogue for the young to gain experiences and learn from the old people.
Support youth participation and representation in decision making processes including government structure, meetings, and in developing and implementing policies and programs and endeavor to partner with the youth as a prerequisite for sustainable development. The government and citizens must put fight against corruption as a matter of priority and promote transparency, accountability and integrity
Strengthen the youth organizations and leadership to lobby and advocate for good leadership and governance. Further strengthen the Kenya National Youth Council as a vehicle for youth empowerment with a clear strategic plan and adequate resources for implementation.
Information sharing with young people at the national and local level through ICT and meaningful civic education to promote meaningful participation in development processes.
Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship
Tap and harness young talents and innovations through organized and facilitated trainings, fairs and festivals. Encourage the youth through sharing of best practices and success stories.
Review the education system to make a shift from theory to practice by empowering the youth with technical skills and make it accessible and affordable to the poor. Education and policy awareness be made a point of focus.
Encourage the youth to shift from normal (formal) employment to green businesses and agricultural ventures. Civic education and incentives that make agriculture more attractive to youths should be adopted and promoted in rural areas and institutions of learning and research by the government. The government should also restructure cooperatives to make them more value oriented and enhance their ability to support youth agriculture through providing mentorship and resource based support to the youth.
Revitalization and upgrading of the Youth Empowerment Centers to act as venues for youth socio-economic empowerment and marketing of government services to the youth. The centers should offer a one stop shop for youth activities and be managed in a seamless manner by the governments in collaboration with the Kenya National Youth Council officials and youth organizations.
Governments should provide transparent financial support to young people by enacting youth friendly policies that allow them to easily access credit and grants to establish businesses and self-employment initiatives.
Population Dynamics, Water and Health
Harness the opportunity of the Youth bulge for rapid economic growth and poverty reduction by implementing sound policies at each stage of the demographic transition. Promote development and investment at the county level to reduce rural-urban youth migration.
To promote specific policy floors for youth with disability, protect youth from vulnerabilities especially after disasters and establish health systems that are friendly to youth with special health needs
Design and implement policies that target STIs, HIV and AIDs related issues among the youth
Ensure universal access to clean safe water for all people in rural and urban areas, and promote the sanitation of every household in the urban areas, especially slum dwellers, by ensuring that more piped and clean water is reaching all people, and creating an efficient drainage system, garbage collection and waste management in cities.
Enhance water harvesting and storage techniques in areas where rainfall takes place in various periods over the years.
Increase access to information and education on health issues for young people especially reproductive health care and reproductive health services for young women in both urban and rural. Medical insurance fund should be extended and affordable to young people for easier access to quality health delivery.
Climate Change and Environment
Develop a clear action plan on youth engagement in adaptation to climate change and environmental conservation. The youth to work hand in hand with the relevant government authorities to adopt and conserve specific local environmental resources including wildlife.
Diversification of leadership and execution of implementable policies regarding climate change and environment
Coordinate research on climate change, translation of research information into languages that youth can understand and dissemination of the same to youth led organizations.
Government should avail drought resistant seeds to young farmers, issue fertilizers at subsidized costs, and encourage climate smart agriculture to ensure sustainable food production in Kenya.
Mainstream climate change and environmental issues in different ministries and establishing and facilitate climate justice systems within the courts.