Monday, November 13, 2017

50 Kenyans to Participate in the 7 Day Sustainability Challenge 2017

The Green Team Initiative seeks to for recruit application for the 7 day sustainability Challenge. The challenge will involve 50 Kenyans resident in Nairobi from November 26th to December 2nd 2017. The challenge takes seven days of practical sustainable solutions which focus on 3 categories: Live, Move and Eat from which the participants will choose through a daily routine of activities that are aimed at managing their carbon footprint and save them money.

Following the 2016 challenge, 10 Kenyans & 10 Swedes successfully completed the smart living challenge with amazing outcomes where majority made small lifestyle changes for good from becoming vegans, to conscience of where their food is sourced from and utilization of public transport among other healthy lifestyle choices. For more on the 2016 challenge see this 5 minutes video.

What’s happening this year?
In 2017, the challenge runs from 26th Nov to 2nd Dec, targeting a total of 50 talented Kenyans, from different ages, gender and profiles. The participants must be resident in the urban set up, men and women who demonstrate the kind of leadership demanding smart lifestyles that are not harmful to the environment, that are sustainable and cost effective.

Participants will be supported to custom make their lifestyle choice routine; they will join a community of inspiring peers; share their experiences with other citizens globally and gain bragging rights for the highest number of carbon footprint saved.

Being as invitation one can participate by filling a simple online application form available here and on the Green Team Website The deadline for application is on 10th November 2017.

The challenge is being organized by the Green Team Initiative that supports entrepreneurs to identify sustainable, innovative, appropriate, and cost effective practices to curb the effects of climate change at community level. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Kenya’s First Standard Gauge Rail Train Day Return Trip From Nairobi to Mombasa

My Saturday 13th May 2017 was traditionally quiet having spent with my Ninjas Ray and Riley doing homework, planting flower seeds in the Fortress Garden then a few creative paper card creations and cartoons a typical day for Dad and the boys. It is 18:50 hrs and I receive a call asking us to be ready at 06:00hrs in the morning for the inaugural SGR Trip to Mombasa and back. Given the fact that we have been waiting for the mostly scanty information, and appreciating my curiosity to give a first-hand account of the humongous Project that Kenya has heavily invested in, we assemble and are ready for the journey.

It is a chilly Sunday morning, at 07:00AM we arrive at Syokimau – the Nairobi Passenger Terminus (NPT) which is located next to the current Syokimau Station approximately 14Kilometers from the CBD. For those wondering how passengers will make it to and from the CBD, arrangements are that they will enjoy commuter rail connection from a separate platform at the NPT.

Kenya’s first standard gauge rail train to Mombasa from Nairobi and back was made courtesy of The Kenya Tourism Board in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and Kenya Railways Corporation. I know many of you have been asking how you can be on the next one, now you know where to ask but surely there will be that grand opportunity from 1st June 2017.

The Nairobi Terminus
The access road to the NPT is still being done. Hopefully it will be complete before the 1st passenger Train kicks off on 31st May from Mombasa to Nairobi by the President Uhuru Kenyatta. The passenger ticket machines are installed and pretty much the works in the Nairobi Terminus is almost complete. This is going to be a humongous platform that will handle both incoming and outgoing passengers fully fitted with seating and waiting lounges.

There are security scanners at all entrances complete with xray enabled luggage scanners for passenger’s safety. This I think is a great move in the history of public transport in Kenya that will guarantee to a large extend the security of passenger on board. The station also has escalators, lifts and stairs accessing various points on the platform with clear signage everywhere.

KR will outsource services to be provided at all the passenger stations including restaurants, shops, car park attendants, etc.
The First Passenger Train Journey to Mombasa
07:45 the brand new passenger train pulls up to the platform, the hostesses and conductors all dressed up in their uniforms stand in one file, saluting the train and in a military precision they enter to prepare the wagons for the first courtesy passengers. I did a rough and quick head count to an estimated 150 courtesy passengers. The passengers were mostly families which gave a good test to see the tenacity of the journey with kids on board. We are ushered in by the smiling and happy crew. So we were quite a small number of about 150 passenger which enabled free for all seating space across the entire train from First class to second class.

At 08:30 we depart for Mombasa. There is a lot of announcements to make sure that the passengers are comfortable and they do not miss any detail of the journey. I think the announcers could be given a bit more training to have the finesse of the announcers at JKIA. No pun intended. However I think it is a good thing to make sure that passengers are aware of their surrounding as well as safety and cleanliness measures.

The Passenger Wagons
Each wagon has two conductors and two hostesses. Passengers feel safe if they want to leave their items on the seats and have a walk across the train. The wagons have hangers for coats/jackets and hats. The train also has at least two armed Police Officers for the ultimate security.

The wagons have big non tinted windows that provide guests with the opportunity to enjoy Kenya’s beautiful landscape and connection to some of Kenya’s most pristine wilderness areas. On this occasion we spotted hundreds of Elephants as well as other wild animals in Tsavo East and West National Parks. This is appealing to both leisure and business seekers connecting Nairobi and Mombasa cities.
The wagons on this day for the most part of the first hour of the ride had a malfunctioned air condition. This was fixed later thus making the journey relaxing. This is a grey area since you can imagine with 1000 passengers on board and the air condition fails, it would be such a not so good environment to travel in.

Seating and view
The seating capacity for the passenger train is 1,551. On any one day, SGR has capacity to transport 3,102 passengers from Nairobi to Mombasa and vice versa. I was told should there be demand, a business class coach may also be provided in the train with business-class-aircraft-type of reclining seats.

The seating capacity in the second class wagon is 118 passengers. The seats on the Second Class Wagons have been fabricated with firm steel pipes holding them, cushioned and covered with fabric material. They are sets of three seats facing each other and separated by a little table in the middle affixed to the walling. The four base legs didn’t give me the feeling of stability especially if used over a long period. Time will tell if they can withstand the pressure of full capacity knowing that second class will have a relatively lower fare rate making the class overbooked and in most cases full all the time. Again I think for those random travellers, you will meet five new faces that will be forced to have a conversation and share the little table. I think they are a great conversation starter. Too bad for the anti-social travellers. These second class seats do not have arm rests. Yea, so the three by three passengers are stacked together and you had better create a travelling social bond if you are a second class lover. I mean why would anyone travel without talking to fellow travellers? We need to stop this bad manners. Greet people, smile at them, start a conversation. Let us accomplish that vision of one people one nation.
The capacity in First class wagon is 72 passengers seating. The seats in First class have a frim base and they can be turned around so that if you are travelling in a group of four, you can turn the seats so that you face each other and enjoy the journey. You can also pull the seating area and give it a reclining effect that leans the seat backwards for a more relaxing effect. But I couldn’t achieve that, I think the more upright position is better than the backward leaning position. This seats have a custom build table at the back of the seat giving the persons seating on the back somewhere to enjoy their drink or read a book. They also have armrests. This is especially good because it almost creates a private space for those travellers who just want to have their peace and quiet. Does this mean that the ones who can afford a higher fare rate are not good conversation starters?
The Dining Wagon
There is a dining wagon with a capacity of 50 passengers. Affixed to it is a kitchen and a service area. Passengers will enjoy dining and bar facilities on the train for the express as well as stopping train services in the comfortable restaurant car or in their seats for first class passengers.
Sleeping room.
There is a sleeping room for the night passengers that will want that option. Each compartment has four beds decked opposite each other. This is an option for a family that wants total privacy or friends travelling together. But heck, even total strangers can meet here and start a great conversations to relationships that will last. But remember it is for sleeping.
We did not have wifi in this train but I was told plans are underway to ensure the train gets to be installed with good internet service.

For the Thirsty passengers
There are water points with sinks in every compartment making it easy to clean up or draw water for drinking and other uses too.

Dust Bins
There are dust bins in every compartment and announcements are made to passengers to cooperate with the staff and ensure they keep the train dust free.

There two lavatories on each wagon. I hope they will be kept clean to ensure total comfort of the passenger. KR forgot to put tissue paper on our inaugural ride. The kind of technology they use for this service is the vacuum enabled sucker which if tissue paper is used, it would result in clogging and total failure of the system. I know there exists better technology out there for this service and I hope we are not facing an imminent crisis knowing these very basic human need to release the excess weight in the body. So just remember to carry a spare tissue and remember to not load your system hahaha!!
There is signage in the wagons and each seat that you booked for will be your designated seating space. So on booking you will need to know if you like a window seat, middle seat, or an aisle seat (for the second class. While first class you will decide between the two seats. Should you miss the window seat, don’t worry since the windows are so wide and the view and scenery is amazing including a glimpse of the wildlife in the Nairobi, Kiboko and Tsavo National Parks.
The rail tracks and speed
The passenger locomotive speed is set at 158km/hr. For this journey we did an average of 118km/hr. The line is a class 1 railway designed for high speed and high capacity passengers and freight delivery.

Stations and Stops
The stations are all themed – borrowing heavily from the local surroundings. The works in the other stations apart from Nairobi and Mombasa are complete. The finishing is of high quality, a break away from the old and rusty stations of the lunatic express.

There are seven intermediate stations from Nairobi to Mombasa; - Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Mtito Andei, Voi, Miasenyi and Mariakani.

There are twenty four crossing (Passing) stations – Mombasa port, Chigato, Manjeva, Mugalani, Mackninon, Road, Maungu, Ndi, Maololo, Tsavo, Kyulu, Kanga, Ndalasyani, Ngwata, Kinyambu, Makindu, Simba, Kivati, Sultan Hamud, Kima, Kiu, Ulu, Konza and Lukenya.

There will be an express train that will cover the Nairobi – Mombasa and Mombasa – Nairobi journeys within 4 hours and 30 minutes with only one brief stop at Mtito Andei. The stoping trains will take  5 hours and 15 minutes for the same distance.
Mombasa Terminus

At 1:00PM we arrived in Mombasa with the best views that the rail can provide. The Mombasa Passenger Terminus is located near Miritini – approximately 12 kilometres from Mombasa CBD. Passengers to and from Mombasa CBD will use public transport. Once finished I think the Mombasa station will be one of the best in the region although the architectural and design aspects were done to meet the local environment. The works on the ground is still far from finished but once done it will be one of the most picturesque locations in the coast region and quite appealing to the passenger. The station is greeted by a humongous control tower that seats imposingly above everything else as you approach.
While on the inaugural journey it took us 5.5 hours to Mombasa with one stop at Emali station arriving at 1300hrs. The return journey took us 6 hours since we stopped for 3 minutes each in every of the intermediate stations. It took us 6.5 hours on the return journey from 1400hrs to 20:45hrs. With this in mind I am not sure how KR will achieve the 4.5 hour journey unless they build interchange lanes for on coming and outgoing trains, both passenger and freight.

The speed of the train is fine, no need for seat belts, because it is a train and not a bus or car. The technology is different. To those that want to do family travels it is a perfect opportunity. The air conditioning in the train minimises fatigue levels since you are travelling in controlled air condition making the journey all refreshing. Also the fact that one can walk up and down the train makes it easy to relax and enjoy the journey.

The tariff levels for both freight and passengers are still a subject of discussion and will be made public as soon as SGR is ready for operation. I think this information needs to be up as of now knowing that we have about three weeks to the launch date. Many of you have asked me the same questions and to be honest, we all will have to wait until KR announces the rates. However the introductory rates are widely said to be cheaper and I hope that KR will put in measures to ensure that local tourism is promoted through friendly rates that will be embraced by majority of Kenyans and other passengers.

While the introductory tariffs will be easily reachable by majority of Kenyans, I doubt that the new and proper rates will be sustainable. The high tariffs when they come into effect will not convince people to look at the benefits of the train ride. It is widely known even in the most developed nations that Train tariffs are very expensive. The costs of maintaining the service will not be cheap and as such the high cost of running the service will mean the tax payers will have to either finance it or pay exorbitant rates to afford it.

Some public concerns

Quite a number of you were following my journey on social media and other platforms. In fact the folks at #theFirePlace kept asking all manner of questions mostly very important questions to ensure that they get the feel and hang of things. They are some of the best brains we have in the country. On seeing the photos of the seats in the second class that I shared on the Accountability Demand Group, Juliana wondered posed as an important question that a typical Kenyan would pose. In fact as soon as I entered the train the thought immediately crossed my mind on the fabric almost velvety cushioned seats. There needs to be a meticulous plan to keep those seats clean and free of lice and other bugs. I mean isn’t it reality that these things find themselves in the most unfamiliar places because of the various conditions humans live in?

The Lunatic Express (Kenya Railways Old Trains) used to have wipe-able heavy duty plastic to cover the seats for ease of maintenance. The cost of maintaining the fabric will be very high. (I know many of you have been to our Matatus that have been fitted with velvety fabric seats. With the dust and the heat, with continued washing, there comes a pungent smell that is unfathomable as you enter such a matatu. Now imagine that kind of a feeling in a passenger train that carries over 1000 passenger on a go.

Let me pose for a moment. The cleanliness in the train is very high. In fact the hostesses kept moving around the train cleaning any dirt that may have found its way on the floor. Announcements kept coming to parents to take care of their young ones so that we all keep the train free of garbage and dirt. SGR management has taken all the precaution. But try and imagine the train on full capacity. 1000 passengers with their 1000 problems, the staff will be overwhelmed. The seats will begin to see better days and will require complete replacement of the fabric. I think someone will listen and put up all weather material for those seats. We all want a long lasting solution that is cost effective.

Cost of Project and Return on Investment
So much has been said about the total costs of the SGR in Kenya. In fact the World Bank has come up with firm reports about its costs and how it is unsustainable to the Kenyan economy given the fact that we have heavily borrowed from China and EXIM Bank for the SGR development. 
Will the cost of the entire project be sustainable? Was this project meant for us to use or was it meant for the cartels in Government to make money? Will the project succeed on its implementation? Are the cost implications worth the work that has gone in noting the widely circulated and speculative allegations that other countries have used less than what we have to put up similar infrastructure?
Will the SGR appeal to both leisure and business seekers? I ask this because fact is that passengers services are just icing on the cake since the main objective of building the railway is to increase freight transport capacity in the Northern Corridor. 
Will the competing interests of Tanzania in setting up their own port injure our ambition and business plan? Will the freight traffic and capacity we have currently break even in the short term. This are questions that will continue to linger in the minds of many Kenyans and I hope we shall find the answers in time.

Mass Transport is best option

I am an ardent promoter of mass transport. Green practices are the way to go for the future. Any technological advancement that moves us closer to sustaining our environment is a welcome idea. But the cost implications should also be sustainable. Smart Movement is the way to go for all humanity. According to new studies, taking public transport instead of driving appears to make people happier and helps them to sleep better (source: Also, riding the bus or train to work is associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and being overweight, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015 (source: I hope that the SGR is the first step to Kenya achieving greener modes of transport for her citizens.
So, why wait?

For Now you have a little snippet of what it will take for you and your loved ones to take advantage of the Kenya Railway service, travel and see the magical Kenya and enjoy.
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Friday, January 6, 2017

Kindly vote for me on the 2016 100 Most Influencial Kenyans

I am honored to make to the top 100 most influential Kenyans. But I wouldn't do it without you. You can vote for me on under the category of Personal Development and Academia and let us together get this win. I thank you.
Here is the scoop
Reputed rating establishment and Africa’s leading Media and PR firm, Avance Media in partnership with Jagari Designs have announced their inaugural list of 100 Most Influential Young Kenyans.
The list which reflects the achievements of young Kenyans throughout the year 2016 was streamlined in 10 distinct categories which represents key sectors across Kenya’s economy.
The list which has a gender equity of 42 women and 48 men is an initiative meant to serve as a source of inspiration to young people around the world.
According to Prince Akpah, MD of Avance Media, the initiative which was previously only launched for Ghana is embarking on a continental agenda of leading in sprouting the works and achievements of young people whose immerse contributions are sidelined and Kenya happens to be part of the first set of countries involved in the ranking.
Resident COO of the rankings, Janerose Gatobu also shared her excitement about list, stating it is going to massively contribute to putting the stories of young Kenyans on the globe.
In rating who becomes the 2016 Most Influential Young Kenyan, the general public is being invited to vote for their most impactful youth on
After public votes ends on 18th January, 2017, winners will be announced according to their respective categories before the young person voted as the Most Influential Young Kenyan for 2016 will be announced.
I am honored to make to the top 100 most influential Kenyans. But I wouldn't do it without you. Kindly vote for me on under the category of Personal Development and Academia and let us together get this win. I thank you.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Sorry: No More Jobs for You

There is hell lot of people on the tarmac, university, college, currently looking for a job. If you are one of them, you may need to rethink of your strategy. The economy is not creating enough jobs annually. There are high chances you may be looking for a job for the next five years and more. It is now ten times more difficult to find a job in Kenya than it was 10 years ago.
I have seen a lot of policy makers and politicians talk on doing something about the employment situation as a top policy priority. In fact the Jubilee Government came into office with the promise to create more opportunities for the youth and the country at large. But there is very little that has practically been done about the situation. There’s a pervasive sense across government that nothing more can or should be done, that we should just wait for the economy to grow to trickle down to workers.
The truth of the matter is, when the economy is on the growth trajectory, very few jobs are created. The economy has to stabilize for the opportunities to begin to trickle down to the citizens.
With the projections for economic growth by Government, it will take years before unemployment declines to normal levels. And all indications and activities around the various national scale infrastructure projects show that those projects will need to be completed for actual jobs to trickle down to the citizens.
According to the Kenya Beureau of Statistics, Unemployment Rate in Kenya increased to 40% in 2011 from 12.70% in 2006. In Kenya, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.
80% of the unemployed Kenyans are below 35 years old. the challenge of youth unemployment is compounded by the fact that 90% of all employed people lack vocational skills. Approximately 800,000 young Kenyans enter the labour market every year. The current youth unemployment rate stands at 35%.
GDP Annual Growth Rate in Kenya is expected to be 5.70% according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations. The estimates show the GDP Annual Growth Rate in Kenya to stand at 6.41 in 12 months’ time. The inflationary effects and the continued infrastructure development as well as low tax returns, things don’t look as rosy as projected.
The damage from sustained high unemployment will last much longer. The longer our graduates remain unemployed, they tend to lose their skills, and even when the economy finally stabilises in growth, there will still be difficulties in finding a job, because they’re regarded as poor risks by potential employers.
On the other hand, students who graduate into a poor labor market start their careers at a huge disadvantage and pay a price in lower earnings for their whole working lives. Failure to act on unemployment isn’t just cruel, it’s short-sighted.
Then there is the group of Kenyans who after graduating and searching for jobs with little success, take up any offer irrespective of their area of specialization. These type of people end up frustration leading to poor productivity at the job place.
Can the Kenyan Government consider creating an emergency jobs program?
I remember in the 2009 Obama stimulus bill focused on restoring economic growth. It was, in effect, based on the belief that if you build G.D.P., the jobs will come. But if that could be the same route, the current infrastructure development needs to be humongous enough such that at the completion, it could absorb millions of the unemployed.
During the campaigns the Jubilee Administration promised to create tax incentives to companies that take up young people to offer job training, internships and mentorship opportunities. This policy has never been implemented. It also promised to collapse the existing Funds targeting the youth and the Kenya Industrial Estates into one agency. The proposals seems to have hit a snag.
We urgently need a somewhat cheaper program that generates more jobs for the unemployed population. Such a program should at best lead directly to job creation. An intensive programme that helps or incubates innovators to start ideas that when implemented will generate more jobs for millions at scale.
With the Counties now at the centre of development, a lot more could be done that is not being done. We need to see the counties announcing measures to create more opportunities for their people at local level thus achieving economic growth at local level.
Every time Government thinks of creating jobs for the youth, they always run towards low paying, hard labour kinds of National Youth Service initiatives and the long gone Kazi Kwa Vijana Initiative that ended up enriching the old guards. It’s time a programme that would offer relatively low-paying (but much better than nothing) public-service employment.
Direct public employment can create a lot of jobs at relatively low cost. The Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank in the United States, argued that spending $40 billion a year for three years on public-service employment would create a million jobs.
If businesses were offered structured direct incentives for employment, there would be more jobs being created. Employers should be encouraged to add workers as the economy expands. Companies should be encouraged to design sustainable growth plans that takes more employees over time thus expanding into new horizons. A tax credit for employers who increase their payrolls is a worthy policy that will lead to the creation of jobs.
The expense that may come with providing tax subsidies to companies and organizations, far more outweighs the value of having more citizens productively engaged. There is currently a much higher cost of inaction in the face of a social and economic crisis the country may plunge herself in.
While the Government needs to get serious on creating an enabling environment for private institutions to create more jobs, the young people also need to begin to use their school acquired knowledge to innovate and resolve our current social problems. Of course that requires investments and revenue in research and innovative ideas. It is that creativity that has lacked in our country. Majority of university graduates today are more of job seekers. Is it because our education is more of a theory and not a practice oriented. Something has to be done about that too.
We can no longer maintain status quo, it will come at a high price. Things not need remain as they are. I believe we can create more jobs — and yes, we MUST.

Friday, August 5, 2016

What Exactly am I doing with my Sight?

By Biko Zulu
When I wrote the story about Loice (with a "c") a pal called Emmanuel Dennis Whatsapped me and said "Hey, Did you know that Palo who fixes my Mercedes [yawa!] is actually visually impaired?" I said how now? He had tons to say about this guy's talent on German vehicles. So I came to see Palo, who is actually called Charanpal Sigh. His dad is half-Singh, half-Kikuyu. Mom is half-Singh, half-Meru.
" I dont even know what I 
am," he laughs.
Palo worked at DT Dobie for 5 years before opening his own garage. When he turned 27, one day he started seeing double, with killer headaches. Menengitis struck and took away his eyesight and hearing from one ear. He could have drowned himself in river of pity, but instead, the little shred that he hanged from was his passion for German machinery.
What else could he do? All he knew and loved were engines; how they sounded, how they smelled, the finese with which they were built, the pride they came with. Palo is the kind of guy who likes to go to bed with the faint smell of oil still on his hands.
"Without sight, work is slower because I have to use one ear to listen to the engine, and I have to feel around for parts." Yup, he knows The temparement of a crankshaft by its feel.
He knows the older models of Mercedes like the back of his hand. He can tell them apart by sound. "The true test of fixing cars is fixing the older cars that were built before cars became computerised."
I asked him what his edge is over the sighted mechanics. "Passion and honesty." He said, " I handle one car at a time, I never take two jobs at any time because this is not about money, it's about curiosity. I'm curious about what ails German machinery." Palo, the Mercedes Whisperer.
When you leave Palo you can't help asking yourself one question; "What exactly am I doing with my sight?"

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Leadership Crisis--It must be Fixed

The world today is full of human generated crisis. One of the biggest crisis is that of leadership. The reason why elections were invented is so that the elected leaders can be in a position to lead in complex situation and find common paths for which progress should define the future of generations. The recent happenings show a world in flux where humans are unable to agree on matters of common sense. Times like these test elected and potential leaders from Members of parliament, local assemblies all the way to presidents.

During times of crisis and complexities, leadership requires resolve, compassion, and a deep commitment to a values system. Immediately a country abandons its value system, there is bound to be crisis led by leaders who are not defined by a common purpose for better management of challenges that face the course of humanity.

The recent happenings in the United Kingdom has showed us a taste of how global leaders act in the face of a crisis. At some point they abandon reason and common sense and return matters as sensitive as the exit from the European Union using superficial campaigns and outright lies. Immediately leaders use lies instead of facts to hoodwink a vote that favours their side, which is the beginning of the lack of democracy there in their system.

The world is in dire need of true leaders who are defined by a value system. That take care of the interests of their people beyond self. But it starts with citizens electing people who show the qualities of honesty and commitment.

The world needs and seeks people who can leading in principled ways that challenge paradigms that need to be challenged and who have the potential to inspire others to do the same. These paradigms are not the common sense that can be left to the masses. It requires wisdom, a thought process that looks into the future. How the decisions made today will positively impact onto our common future.

The world needs women and men who demonstrate the kind of leadership demanded by the challenges of the 21st century. Leaders who are innovative in addressing the challenges of today. Leaders who are imaginative and can navigate through complex situations and provide insights on how to resolve them. Leaders who are flexible enough to listen to the alternative voices of those who oppose them and readjust to ensure the best outcome for the common good. Leaders who are systems-based and can translate visions into actions and embed them into doable actions. Leaders who are risk-takers and are not afraid of trying new ideas. Finally Leaders who are ethical. It is only through ethics that shall we enrich the generations to come. Ethics passed on to the next generation.

Will you be that leader? It starts with you and me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


The Youth Enterprise Development Fund was created with the mission to fostering and promotion of entrepreneurship, typically in the form of micro, small and medium businesses/enterprises. This mission if fully implemented would see the improvement of the livelihoods of youth across Kenya and unyoke them from systemic poverty.
Since 2006 when the fund was established, there has been drama and intrigues at the fund with a lot of political interference in its management. The fund has unfortunately been converted away from its mandate and a few individuals have been enriching themselves. This has to stop.
A few people who have been entrusted with the noble responsibility to steer the fund to greatness have failed and taken to act on behalf of their self-serving interests. The recent blatant theft of 180 Million is an example of the bad publicity that Kenya is receiving today. I the current scandal, a construction company was awarded a tender to provide IT services. The tender was awarded irregularly against the procurement laws.

With the exit of the Chairman paving way for investigations into the irregular award the 180 Million, it is the call by young people of Kenya that the rest of the Board members will follow suit to step aside so that a team that is qualified and passionate about uplifting Kenyan youth can be put in place to do what is right on behalf of the many millions of youth who need the fund's support.

This petition is at mobilizing the support of all young people to get the youth fund back on a track of developing young people's enterprises that need a financial boost for their enterprises.
This petition therefore demands as follows:
1.    THAT a team of professionals be appointed to carry out an audit of the successes and failures of the fund and an institutional strengthening plan be put in place;
2.    THAT the Youth Fund be properly constituted through an Act of Parliament and a sustainable policy framework set up for its operations;  
3.    THAT a seat on the Youth Fund Board be set aside for a nominee elected by the youth or in such a consultative manner by the youth sector stakeholders through a popular process;
4.    THAT the board must be accountable to the youth through quarterly reports released for the consumption of the public;
5.    THAT a review of the fund’s strategic plan be instituted to ensure its priorities are aligned to the economic emancipation of the youth of Kenya and a rapid plan to restore the credibility of the fund implemented;
6.    THAT all senior staff and Board Members undergo a lifestyle audit for accountability and transparency in their service;
7.    THAT an oversight authority be established to oversee the studious implementation process of the board.
8.      THAT a judicial process to ensue immediately to prosecute officials implicated in the loss of funds from the Youth Fund in the current allegations.

9.      THAT the youth organizations in Kenya to participate in promoting the uptake of the fund by the youth and in holding the fund managers accountable.

See also

How Mukuria Ngamau got Sh180 million from the Youth Fund

Former Youth Fund boss admits to making questionable payments following loss of taxpayers millions