Monday, May 30, 2011

National Youth Council Elections and the Politick of deceit

Dear Friends---

I have had a chance to listen to many opinions about the Court Injunction against the NYC Elections. I have come to a conclusion given the pieces of information I have gathered around. The following are my observations believing that there is more than meets the eye in the court injunction;

1.       The NYC elections and the impending process had a challenge in terms legal process.

2.       A good number of youth asked many questions which were in one way or the other answered through various channels.

3.       We asked the Ministry through the relevant office to give the youth a listening ear which we they did.

4.       We challenged the Ministry to give the youth more time to register at the time when the numbers were very low.  The Ministry responded positively.

5.       A couple of politicians have not been happy about the whole process and have vowed to kill the NYC from the word go.

6.       Indeed some Politicians it is reported have paid candidates of their own to vie.

7.       While in other reports Politicians have paid some individuals to make sure the process does not go on.

8.       Up to around 2 million young Kenyans turned out and registered as voters and initiated the elections at the grassroots.

9.       Many candidates have spent a remarkable amount of time and resources to make sure they make good of an opportunity that has evaded the youth sector for the longest time.

10.   Some of the enjoined organizations in the injunction participated in civic education and voter registration drive. This amounts to vomiting on owns shoes and eating the vomit at the end. It is a betrayal of the work and resources they have put in the process.

A couple of realities need to be drawn.

·         In Kenya, a presidential election in 2007 attracted about 4 million votes or there abouts.

·         No single MP can garner that kind of a voter turn out.

·         Half that number has legitimized the NYC elections and turned out in large numbers to vote for their preferred candidates at the grassroots.

·         It is disappointing that the Election Injunction came at such a time that the grassroots elections had neared their end. And now we have a lot of youth having been voted, waiting pensively for the election injunction through the court proceedings.

·         The timing of the hearing has a lot to be desired, that after which, the budget will have been read and there is nothing we can do to have the Exchequer set aside a budget to help set up the council.

·         In other words we all need to forget about NYC until the next financial year being 2012/2013.

·         Someone somewhere is keen not to see this NYC installed to help coordinate the affairs of the Kenyan youth.


The NYC Act precludes that the Council after being set up shall decide the stature and nature of the operations across the country. In my opinion, the first responsibility the council was going to and MUST have is to set up its structures and define its operational mandate, that of the devolved system of government notwithstanding. NOTE that the devolved system of government shall come into effect after the first election following the constitutional referendum as was in August of last year whose election now comes in 2012.

We now have up to 2 million registered voters who had their faith in the process and believed that they could change the system once given the mandate. That is a very dangerous population if left at the mercy of the court injunction.


1.       The 2 million voters in the National Youth Council Deserve a hearing from the individuals who have proceeded to court with the injunction.

2.       The 2 million Kenyan Youths deserve a hearing and have a right to have their voices heard and will be proceeding to court to sue the individuals who have ensued the court injunctions for damages towards the expenses that have gone to this process.

3.       The 2 million Kenyan youth elected their representative at the grassroots will be suing the individuals who have spoilt the party.

4.       On Thursday this week, we would like to have a public forum to hear the story from the injectors of the court injunction. Details will be announced in the course of the day.

Me, the sincere messanger,

Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo

Listening to the voices of the 2 million NYC registered Kenyan  Youth.

On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 8:43 AM, peter shambi <> wrote:
Dear all,
I wish to applaud all those who contributed their resources and time to make this possible. It is true that these crucial elections were marred with immeasurable irregularitie and therefore they had lost merit. I personally took time through my organisation to conduct monitoring for this exercise in the entire Coast region and i witnessed these irregularities. Kindly keep us posted.
Peter Shambi
Muslims for human rights (MUHURI)

Sent: Wed, May 25, 2011 5:08:47 PM
Subject: RE: [NYSA:6594] National Youth Council Elections Halted

Here is Youth Agenda's statement on the issue.


Lydia Mathia
Communications Officer
The Youth Agenda
Adams Arcade, Woodlands Court, Kirichwa Lane
Off Ngong Rd
PO. Box: 10174-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Phone  : 254 020 2022026
Fax        : 254 020 3559212
Cell      : 254717 222 653
Email    :

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Emmanuel Dennis
Sent: 25 May 2011 16:44
Subject: Re: [NYSA:6591] National Youth Council Elections Halted

Dear Friends---
The news about the court action is not shocking. This was expected.
The Artoney General Misadviced the Ministry of Youth Affairs to go on
with the process the ilegalities notwithstanding. We have done quite
allot and alot of gains had been achieved. I know it is dissapointing
especially to the youth who had registered and participated in the
preliminary stages of the elections.

This is a good opportunity for us to go back on the drawing board,
rework the NYC Act to reflect the wishes of young People and follow
the spirit and word of the New Constitution. The court gives us an
opportunity to engage with the Ministry and make sure the Council as
will be constituted is not an illegality.

The National Youth Sector Alliance in partnership with other key
stakeholders will be co-hosting a meeting (dates to be announced so
that we can explore and examine the illegalities in Act with the view
to engage the youth on the next course of Action. NYSA is also
planning a couple of meetings around the country specifically on the
NYC Act so that young people can be engaged in the process.

Let us use this as a legal space not to stop the process, but to get
it right the first time. History will judge us harshly if we install
yet another NYC that will be at the whims and control of state
machinery that is not interested in the good welfare of the young

A credible, Independent and responsible National Youth Council is a
duty that we must take up and deliver a gift to the generations of
many young people who will be affected by the decisions we make today.

We will communicate from the NYSA Coordination Hub on what we should
start doing as the court process goes on.

Kind regards,

Emmanuel Dennis

On 5/25/11, VICTOR IJAIKA <> wrote:
> Hi Lydia
> Its so unfortunate although I truly support the petitioners. The exercise
> much as I wanted to let it go ahead and be run, the approach here in
> leaves so many gaps ( here in Vihiga the Sub location Elections were done
> last
> week  and we are also asking why this happened, shouldn't we standardize
> whole exercise in the whole country?)
>  . How do people who were registering the youth end up running for the
> positions, istn that double standards? The awareness creation on the
> exercise
> leaves a lot to be desired. I really do not understand why the government
> in
> such a rush yet it was sleeping on the policy before the YES we can
> initiative
> was launched? I know many of us are not seeing this but we need to try and
> read
> between the lines.
> We need the Council to be in place, but the strategies should be clear and
> the
> law should be followed. We could have manourvered the political
> but
> the governments high handedness shouldn't also kill this great initiative.
> Let
> the youth and by so saying I mean majority of the youth be mobilised. We
> need to
> know how many had registered so that we can see if that really represents
> the
> young people of this Country
> Its is with this that i propose that as you make your statement, be guided
> by
> the fact that the whole exercise has been messed up by the government and
> all
> efforts should be made to ensure that things are put in order
> Regards
> Victor Ijaika
> Vihiga County
> ________________________________
> From: Lydia Mathia <>
> To:;
> Sent: Wed, May 25, 2011 11:51:23 AM
> Subject: [NYSA:6585] National Youth Council Elections Halted
> Greetings,
> The High court has stopped the National Youth Council Elections through an
> injunction order issued on the 24th May 2011, (a copy of which is here
> attached) on two grounds;
> 1.      Article 13 of the elections guidelines which states that persons
> involved in the operationalisation exercise should not be candidates and
> 2.      Article 14 of the same guidelines which stipulates that the
> election
> register shall be closed 2 days before the date of the elections.
> The hearing is set for the 29th of June 2011. It is an unfortunate
> circumstance.
> Youth Agenda is working on a comprehensive statement which we shall issue
> a
> short while.
> In the mean time, you may share your thought on this situation.
> Best regards,
> Lydia Mathia
> Communications Officer
> The Youth Agenda
> Adams Arcade, Woodlands Court, Kirichwa Lane
> Off Ngong Rd
> PO. Box: 10174-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
> Phone  : 254 020 2022026
> Fax        : 254 020 3559212
> Cell      : 254717 222 653
> Email    :
> Website:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The hype versus the reality of carbon markets -- Economic Justice


Title: The hype versus the reality of carbon markets
Author: Shefali Sharma
Category: Economic Justice
Date: 5/11/2011
Source: Pambazuka News, Issue 529
Source Website:

African Charter Article# 21: All peoples shall freely dispose of their wealth and natural resources for their exclusive interest, eliminating all forms of foreign economic exploitation.

Summary & Comment: This in-depth article examines the recently launched Africa Carbon Exchange. The author warns that carbon credit markets have a checkered past at best and cites examples from the US, Europe and Australia that should temper optimism about African efforts to implement their own markets. Also, the author suggests alternatives that could be more effective. JP

The hype versus the reality of carbon markets

The Africa Carbon Exchange (ACX) was launched in Nairobi on March 24; yet only two days before, Bloomberg headlines announced: 'Global Carbon Credits Die as Smart Money Backs Indian RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates).'[1]

While the ACX is positioning itself to be the hub of 'climate change business and sustainable development in the African continent,' existing and attempted carbon emissions exchanges in Europe and the United States have suffered one blow after another - fraud, carbon credit theft, poor legislative design, even profits for some major polluters - all at the expense of ordinary citizens and the environment.

Moreover, these exchanges have not led to a decrease in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Rather, they threaten to directly increase emissions by diverting capital to the carbon-market casino that could have otherwise gone toward reducing pollution at its source.

The Bloomberg article contends:

'Today, carbon trading remains a backwater of the global commodities market, and it's not even included in the benchmark Dow Jones UBS Commodity Index. Without demand from institutional investors spurred by global limits on emissions, the price of carbon has languished compared with the fossil fuels that policy makers are aiming to marginalize.'

There has been a 16 per cent decline in the membership of the Geneva-based International Emissions Trading Associations (IETA) since the climate talks reached deadlock in Copenhagen in 2009 and carbon-trading platforms such as Intercontinental Exchange Inc. folded up when the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) itself collapsed at the end of 2010.

What happened and what lessons can be learned from these debacles?

Carbon 'offsets' - the backbone of the Kenyan ACX - are supposed to work like this: a series of projects are implemented to take planet-warming carbon out of the atmosphere, which are then subjected to a complex set of measurement, reporting and verifying (MRV) procedures. These projects would receive 'carbon credits' that would be sold to polluters who could neutralise or 'offset' their own pollution by buying these credits.

The creation of carbon-offset projects can include a large number of players. The project can be 'owned' by an organisation, company or individuals. Local communities will be impacted if the project depends on utilising their time, resources or land. Several other entities will also be involved, such as project design consultants who ensure that the project follows an acceptable MRV methodology, project validators who ensure that the MRV is valid and meets a certain accepted standard, and project verifiers to ensure that the MRV methodology is being followed properly. The project then either receives 'certified emissions reduction' credits (CERs) or 'voluntary emissions reduction' credits (VERs), depending on whether the project is meant to meet mandatory 'compliance' targets of the UN climate treaty or feed into the voluntary carbon market. The cost of setting up such projects can therefore be substantial.

A polluter in an industrialised country can buy these CER credits to offset emissions, and hence continue polluting. In reality, however, these credits can be bought and resold in poorly regulated carbon exchanges as much as a hundred times through complex financial instruments called 'derivatives'. A buyer without any obligations to reduce emissions can buy these offset credits, package them with credits from other projects and trade them as a carbon emissions derivative for purely speculative purposes. The credits are sold even before there is any proof that such projects have actually resulted in reducing greenhouse gases.

Such trade involves numerous middlemen in the form of traders and various forms of investment firms. Similar derivatives in still-unregulated over-the-counter markets (OTC) led to the infamous Wall Street collapse in 2008 and the ensuing global financial crisis, and regulators still have not developed adequate rules to govern these markets.


In order to put the 'promise' of the ACX as an agent for development and environmental good in perspective, let's examine first the largest climate exchange in the world: The European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

The ETS was intended to help Europe meet its binding commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce GHGs. Launched in 2005, the ETS resulted in increased, rather than decreased, greenhouse gas emissions, while the price of carbon itself crashed to as low as one euro per tonne from a high of about 30 euros. Several complex reasons can be cited for this, but a very simple reason was the over-allocation of pollution permits that were given, at no cost, to major polluters, which were then traded and re-traded in financial markets. In other words, there was no demand for permits from polluters who faced no strict requirement to reduce emissions.

The ETS has shown through its six-year history how susceptible it is to fraud, malpractice and Internet hacking. Just this February, the ETS had to shut down its trading because cyber criminals had hacked into the system, stealing 40 million USD worth of pollution permits and reselling them. The European Law Enforcement Agency (Europol) estimates that up to five billion euros of European tax revenue (approximately 7.1 billion USD) has been lost due to fraud in value-added tax evasion through carbon trading.[2]

The two major ventures related to carbon exchanges in the United States have also suffered major blows. Just the week before the ACX was launched, the San Francisco Superior Court ordered the state of California to suspend its proposed cap-and-trade system, which includes offsets, because it was in violation of environmental laws in California. The judge ruled that the California Air Resource Board had not sufficiently considered alternatives to the cap-and-trade system and needed to do so.

Just months prior, the United States' only national climate exchange - the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) - shut down its operations at great cost to farmers who invested in it in anticipation of offset credits. The Chicago Climate Exchange shut down because large investors were not interested in a voluntary market and had counted on US legislation to enact a mandatory market. When the climate bill in the US Congress failed, there was little incentive for companies to continue to buy and sell credits in the market.

Emerging controversies in Australia are also relevant for the ACX. The Australian 'Carbon Farming Initiative' is being proposed as a major offset scheme for Australian polluters and those abroad to meet Kyoto targets. Market analysts doubt whether there would be an adequate supply of credits for sufficient trading in the initial years.

Concerns are also being raised regarding the environmental integrity of such an offset scheme that could lead to pressure on water and land, given that the CFI is supposed to derive reduction in GHGs through activities such as fertiliser management, reduced livestock emissions, soil carbon and reforestation.[3]


The ACX would sell pollution 'credits' generated on African soil through individual projects, thereby enabling companies in the industrialised world to continue polluting and yet comply with their governments' commitments to meet international and national targets for emissions reductions. ACX registered projects would also aim to generate a sufficient supply of projects to be made available for carbon trading on voluntary markets.

It is now common knowledge that the CancĂșn climate pledges could lead to the warming of the planet by four degrees Celsius or more. The latest science shows that even a global average warming of two degrees will be devastating for life on Earth. For much of sub-Saharan Africa, a two-degree global average temperature rise would mean even higher temperatures on the ground.

This spells disaster for food security in Africa - with devastated cropping cycles, water scarcity and widespread famine. Carbon offsets are a major exit strategy for polluters to continue polluting while shifting the burden of GHG reductions to African nations that have the lowest carbon footprint on the planet. In the end, the impacts of the failure of this UNFCCC approved 'market mechanism' will be acutely felt by the African people who stand to suffer greatly from a warming planet.

In addition, the types of offset projects envisioned for Africa primarily entail 'land-based carbon' projects, either through avoiding deforestation, reforesting or reducing emissions from agriculture. This means that projects are banking on receiving credit for changing land-use practices in forests and soils to store carbon relative to what would have happened in a business-as-usual (baseline) scenario.

However, trading carbon from land-based offsets is met with major scepticism by real financial investors because of serious scientific challenges in measuring carbon in soils and forests and understanding previous and future land-use changes.

Moreover, because the bulk of forest and agriculture land is used by local communities, significant risks are associated with land tenure issues and social conflicts, with research showing an increase in land grabs of large areas of customary land in Africa by agribusiness and government agencies.[4]

A recent study[5] by experts in derivatives trading platforms also shows that land-based offsets will meet significant barriers to investment. This is because the land-based asset itself is difficult to define and therefore trade because of the high degree of uncertainty in measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) land-based carbon.

The costs and controversies associated with land-based offsets are also likely to make them a risky venture. It will therefore lead to control of the trade by very few companies given the monopolistic nature of commodity markets (carbon is a commodity) and because very few companies will be able to finance the risk associated with this trade.

The experts therefore conclude that the market for land-based offsets will either fail because of the numerous difficulties inherent in land based carbon accounting or lead to 'the creation of a substandard, risky and ultimately destructive forest carbon market.'[6] The same applies to agricultural soil carbon where the underlying 'tradable' asset is even more varied and uncertain.

Finally, given that energy markets have a high degree of price correlation with carbon, excessive speculation in carbon is likely to adversely affect food and commodity prices.[7]

Bundling carbon derivatives into index funds with other commodities would also tend to destabilise prices, as would trading carbon derivatives without position limits (limits on the number of contracts held). Highly volatile oil and food commodity prices not only have a significant impact on the economic stability of net oil and food-importing countries but also on the agriculture sector as a whole, given the high dependence on fossil fuels for synthetic fertilisers, transport, distribution and storage. Expanding carbon markets that are structurally highly susceptible to fraud and speculation and part of commodity markets, particularly through index funds, thus has serious implications for food production and food security in Africa.


The most often quoted World Bank figure for the global carbon market is 144 billion USD. However this figure largely includes derivatives trading. Out of this, only around 3,370 million USD goes to offset project developers as total revenue (not profit) with a much more uncertain fraction of that going to local communities who may host the project.[8] The FAO estimates that close to 17 billion euros (approximately 24.3 billion USD) could be required in transaction costs alone to set up soil carbon sequestration projects from 2010 - 2030, diverting scarce resources away from critical adaptation needs.

According to the World Bank's own estimates adaptation costs to developing countries will range between 2.5 and 2.6 billion USD per year from 2010 -2050.[9] Experts monitoring Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) schemes also find that important institutional and public resources are being diverted to create the technical capacity and infrastructure required to create offset credits to trade on potential forest carbon markets. Rather than diverting scarce resources, this money could be invested directly into institutions and communities to build resilience against climate change and directly address deforestation.


The Africa Carbon Exchange is being publicised as the next big ticket that will help solve the development gap in Africa, with plans to replicate the exchange in other regional blocs such as the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS).

However, before that happens, governments and their parliaments should examine:

- ongoing challenges and investment trends in climate exchanges in industrialised countries,
- investor aversion to land-based offsets,
- environmental and food security risks to Africans by allowing industrialised countries to continue polluting, and
- resources needed for African countries to adapt to climate change.

There is a real danger that carbon offsets will become a major policy distraction and capital diversion from the real climate change challenges that Africa faces: the urgent task of climate change adaptation and ensuring resilience of communities.


A financial transaction tax[11] on financial trading, feed-in tariff policies through which clean solar and wind energies are incentivised, and the use of International Monetary Fund (IMF) special drawing rights[12] by developing countries are just some of many alternatives being proposed to both finance the reversal of climate change and to help developing countries adapt to it. Industrialised countries have a legal, historical and moral responsibility to curb their domestic emissions at home and help finance adaptation in Africa and elsewhere. Let's not let carbon trading and the promises of a speculative derivatives market distract us from these critical goals.

{Sharma's work focuses on international trade and financial institutions, and international food and agriculture policies, with a particular interest and focus on India and South Asia. This article is sourced from The Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy.}


[1]. B. Sills, Global Carbon Credits Die as Smart Money Backs Indian RECs, Bloomberg Markets Magazine, March 22, 2011. Available at [url=[/url]
[2]. World Watch Institute, A Brief History of Fraudulent Activity on the EU ETS, 2011.
[3]. Point Carbon, Australian Greens Challenge Offset Mechanism, March 24, 2011.
[4]. L. Cotula, Land deals in Africa: What is in the contracts?, IIED, London. Available at
[5]. Munden Project, REDD and Forest Carbon: Market-based Critique and Recommendations, 2011. Available at [url=[/url]
[6]. Ibid.
[7]. In an orderly market, carbon prices should rise with energy prices but haven't due to the aforementioned crimes, poor legislative design and MRV controversies, and costs.
[8]. FERN, Designed to fail? The Concepts, Practices and Controversies Behind Carbon Trading, 2010.
[9]. FAO, Climate Smart Agriculture: Policies, Practices and Financing for Food Security, Adaptation and Mitigation, 2010, 22.
[10]. FERN and Forest Peoples Programme, Smoke and Mirrors: A Critical Assessment of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, February 2011.
[11]. See European Parliament, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, DRAFT REPORT on Innovative Financing at Global and European Level, also known as the 'Podimata Report,' October 2010. Accessed at:
[12]. See ActionAid, Using Special Drawing Rights for Climate Finance, Discussion Paper, February 2010.

Monday, May 9, 2011

"YOUTH" The Ticking Time Bomb ... or is it a Gold Mine?

"YOUTH" The Ticking Time Bomb...or is it a Gold Mine?

An Address to the Commonwealth Conference on 'Investing in Youth Employment'

9th-10th May 2011, Marlborough House, London

By Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo, CEO - Green Teams Initiative - Africa

Mr. Kamalesh Sharma - Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Dr. Paul Otuoma Hon. Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports of Kenya, Ms. Poonam Ahluwalia, President YES Inc., Mr. Sridhar, Central bank of India, Your Excellencies the Heads of Missions to the Commonwealth, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am humbled and honoured to address this distinguished gathering.  The title of the conference resonates well with what drives me as an individual and other people that have inspired me in the last decade. Having started off in the children's rights advocacy in villages in Kenya, I have grown to join the youth development world at YES, and now moving towards bigger responsibility of national and international leadership addressing entrepreneurship among other global development issues. It is to me a lifelong learning journey.

Youth Unemployment is huge a challenge that poses serious threats to the co-existence of humanity today. We are witnessing best practices which started off in the Middle East and North Africa, to Central Africa, they have their tentacles to the East side of Africa. This continuing series of revolutions will dominate the world's agenda for as long as we continue to ignore the youth who are the common denominator for our present and future.

Research and statistics show increase in Youth population. In Africa, persons under the age of 35 form a paltry 75% of the populations. They are well educated and majority unemployed. A recipe for Social conflict.

The current financial and ecological challenges will continue to hit hard. These pressures mean that we need to device new business unusual models. We must come up with short term imperative frameworks to address youth unemployment. This must be supported by long term imperative to create sustainable value chains that resolve the problems of tomorrow driven by innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Living in poverty, one meal per day, kicked out of school due to lack of $80 school fees, a young man from Masitala village in Malawi; the country having gone through the worst drought ever; with no help coming, William Kimkwamba devised an innovative way of creating opportunity... the Wind. He started off scavenging in waste materials, he became the laughing stock of the village as he collected rusted iron, car batteries, tractor fans, bicycle parts among other scrap materials. From 2002 courtesy, his village now has 5 windmills that generate electricity and pump water for use by hundreds of villagers.

Many youth like William come up with innovations that are life changing but due to the lack of capital, technical knowhow and support structures, their dreams have been swept off without caution.

The Green Teams initiative started to organize young people into positive community building forces, that are creating revenues and at the same time resolving the ecological challenges that the world faces today using a bottom up approach.

When we began the Green Teams conversation at the Rework the World Summit hosted by YES and Tallberg Foundation in June of 2010, many sceptics shot down the idea as half baked. However the GTI Revolution is taking Africa slowly becoming a positive storm because it speaks to the needs of the youth who desperately require the kind of skills training we offer to get them into economic independence. We now have Green Teams in Mombasa, Kampala, Nairobi and soon Kigali, St. Louis courtesy of UNHABITAT CCCI Program. A GTI is coming to Washington DC as well.

With support structures in place to incubate emerging ideas and value chains, not only will we be planting the seeds of hope, but also investing in a promising future. It is to the uncharted waters that the Green Teams seek to explore. To create the path where others will come and walk through.

My appeal to the Commonwealth Secretariat and other Global initiatives. Listen to the voices of the youth, they call from remote villages of the world, they reckon with virgin ideas, they seek a helping hand. They need support to realise their dreams. They seek investment for sustainable social impact. Otherwise, every skewed development agenda that we pursue will be shuttered by the looming revolution. We can no longer continue to ignore the youth; as such ignorance will be to our own peril.

The Youth Enterprise Development Fund in Kenya has shown and proved that Youth are bankable and investable. The loan repayment portfolio surpasses that of established businesses. However, the fund needs to be reworked to a Guarantee Fund. This way to support the emerging enterprises, incubate and nurture promising ideas and invest in the young people who lack collateral. The fund would build the capacity of the youth to become entrepreneurs able to compete established businesses and at the same time protect their ideas from the plagiarists with patents and intellectual property protection.

We support the credit Facility by the Commonwealth, such an idea will far more support youth employment and should be replicated in more countries. Creating Youth Enterprise Generators as originated by YES to support in scale change ideas of organized young people will achieve immeasurable results into enterprise movements. The Commonwealth Secretariat should support ideas to scaling up and replicating promising practices in all its member states.

Kenya will be holding the National Youth Council Election by June. I am sure the Hon Minister Paul Otuoma who is here with us will take a lead in working with young leaders to make it a model that the rest of the world can learn from. We should allow young people to lead such state offices to set international standards and become models for learning and replication. Supporting member states to come up with youth friendly policies, the commonwealth should insist that such policies should be devoid of skewed political agendas.

A good idea grows by itself. We have an option to make the right decisions from their onsets. As in Entrepreneurship, Fortune favours the Bold. Indeed the brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all as was articulated by Sir Richard Branson, one of the most successful business moguls of our time who started off at age 16 to build a global diverse brand that is Virgin. He has proved that you can chew and cross the road at the same time.

Barack Obama is my role model that speaks my kind of Language; An astute believer in the power of the youth to change the world. He is promoting Green Issues such as developing a green economy. He wants to create 5 million jobs in the green energy sector. A green grid where homes will take power from small, local solar and wind powered generators, and home generators will push surplus energy back into the grid. This must happen as the price of fuel skyrockets, changing our energy and business models as the recession bites. Barack is a more than talk guy.

By the year 2015, the youth bulge will be at its high with the current economic pressures escalating. Initiatives like the Grameen, YES Bank in Bangladesh should be emulated and scaled to offer sustainable loans to consumers. Young people with green businesses should be supported. Africa was not hard hit by the economic downturn, because, our conservative banking practices have saved our economies. African Companies and ideas will thrive in the next decade. Investing in ideas as Green Teams, will propel a country like Kenya to start giving aid money to the USA and the UK in hard times, such as when the Economic Recession is on. My prediction is that if given a chance, this will be a reality in the next two decades.

Creating the Green Teams Business model is to do something positive for the deserving livelihoods; to connect to the rest of the world; to partner with institutions as the Commonwealth. With your support, I am sure we will thrive and reach our desired goals so that future generations can enjoy. That is the legacy that all of us should be working towards.

I hope that this Workshop will help us have honest talk and concrete action based deal breakers to gain value to why we are gathered here today. Let us not allow this to be another talk shop. In conclusion, I would like to thank the Commonwealth Secretariat for setting up this conference; it has been an onerous task to be at the place where we are today. Thanks to Rajkumar Bidla for creating stories of hope. Let us change the ticking social time bomb that is youth into a gold mine. The future depends on them.

Thank you.