Monday, December 6, 2010

Youth give PM raft of demands

The Standard
Published on 24/11/2010


The youth now want 30 per cent representation in national decision-making organs and slots in the new commissions established under the new Constitution.

Youth leaders tabled a raft of demands they want done for them to exploit their potentials during a meeting with Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday. They also want the Government to establish an employment database.

"There is severe unemployment among the youth and low representation in decision-making organs. We are demanding inclusion and participation in governance," said Emmanuel Ngongo, co-ordinator Youth Enterprise and Sustainability.

The leaders also urged the Government to revamp the Youth Fund and offer them 'friendly' health services.

"Lack of access to quality healthcare has increased the cases of HIV and Aids infections among the youth," said Ngongo, adding that only a few have access to antiretroviral drugs and contraceptives.

However, the PM advised the youth to work out their dreams diligently.

"Whatever you want to be, whether a doctor, engineer, lawyer, athlete, soccer star, businessperson, president or prime minister, you have to dream about it and then work hard to achieve the dream," he advised. He said the new Constitution recognises the rights of the youth.

Skills vs Labour market

The youth leaders also complained about the local education system.

"We recommend that the Government improves the quality and relevance of higher education and align graduate skills to the current labour market," said Ngongo in a statement.

Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Paul Otuoma regretted that 36 per cent of national population are youth between ages 15 to 35 who are either unemployed or underpaid.

Publics Works Minister Dalmas Otieno expressed optimism that the ideas fronted by the youth will be incorporated to development of the country

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