Reflections Towards Understanding the Nature of Kenya’s Youth Question/Agenda: A Possible Way Forward
To All My Friends, Greetings! Kindly note that even when I seemingly take a while to get back to You All, I Mean Well. I Recognize and Deeply Appreciate Your Friendship. And I Am Always Thinking About You and Thinking Very Hard on All Forms of ‘Constructive Ways Forward’ for All of Us. Thank you!!!!!!!
Following up on enquiries I keep receiving from, and feedback to the responses I give to You All, specifically on the last observations on and appeal to the Youth, the Youth Question/Agenda in/for Kenya, kindly allow me to give the following further personal reflections and observations on the same:
THE YOUTH ARE NOT a Separate Category of Persons from the Rest of Us Kenyans!
The Group or Generation we identify/refer to as the ‘YOUTH’ as US ALL and ALL ABOUT US! The distinction between them and the rest of us is that they are only our older children given that they fall above the 18 years of age bracket, and are younger adults given that society tends to limit the ‘Youth Bracket’ to those of/below the age of 35 years.They are Persons and as a Part of the growing or aging generation among us. THEY ARE A GENERATION OF US! The Youth are a Generation whoseSPACE in EVERY FACET OF DAILY HUMAN LIFE IS A FACT OF LIFE AND HISTORY, AND ALSO A RIGHT. They are the human beings in Kenya and everywhere in the world who fall within that age bracket, they are our children who by virtue of age have grown to young adults and progressing by age into adulthood. I hope this transition is a fact of life to all of us, and all of us and we must face it and embrace it as simply as it is – that’s life!
By Being Part of the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Generation, I imply that the Youth and the Youth Agenda MUST BE UNDERSTOOD to FULLY CONSIST OF ALL THE PILLARS OF LIFE namely: THE YOUTH and/in POLITICS; THE YOUTH and/in THE ECONOMIC DISPENSATIONS; THE YOUTH and/in THE CORPORATE/BUSINESS WORLD; THE YOUTH and/in SOCIO-ECONOMIC SECTORS OF DAILY PUBLIC and PRIVATE LIFE; and THE YOUTH and/in THE CROSS-CUTING FACETS as in Information, Education, Knowledge, Capacities and Skills, Gender, the Constitution, the Law, Innovation, the Moral Fibre, and the YOUTH in PRO-ACTIVE WORK and PARTICIPATION in not only NATIONAL DECISION-MAKING and POLICY, and DOMESTICATION OF THE POLICIES INTO DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES FOR THEIR OWN and COUNTRY’S PROCESSES OF DEVELOPMENT AND POSTERITY.
The YOUTH ASLO OUGHT TO BE YOUTH WITH EYES to SEE, EARS that HEAR, REASON and HEARTS,and CAPACITIES to MAKE LIFE WORTH LIVING for the MARGINALIZED AND LESS PRIVILEDGED GROUPS IN THEIR SOCIETY WHICH INCLUDES THE: ‘POOREST OF THE POOR CHILDREN, YOUTH and ADULTS;the PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY CHALLENGED;the ORPHANED POOR;theTERMINALLY ILL/SICK and the ELDERLY POOR; ETC. Kindly allow me to REPEAT that some of these under-privileged groups are among the Youth themselves as the POOR YOUTH, or YOUTH OF THE POOR!
The YOUTH FURTHER OUGHT TO BE ONE OF AND PART OF THE FUNCTION ENTITIES/VEHICLES of Society and indeed at ALL LEVELS namely: GRASSROOT (Village, sub-Location and Location, Ward); other sub-NATIONAL Levels (e.g District, Constituency, County); NATIONAL Levels;REGIONAL Levels (e.g East, South, Central and Northern African Community); and INTERNATIONAL Levels!
What am I actually saying?
Am saying that if a WAVE of some TSUNAMI came and wiped all of us who are above 35 years of age from this face of the earth, THE YOUTH GENERATION below 35 years of age WOULD REQUIRE TO HAVE BEEN PREPARED BY US before we disappeared, to TAKE UP AND FILL IN ALL THE POSITIONS THAT EXIST IN THE DAILY LIVES OF A PEOPLE and THEIR NATION, THUS, PROTECTING THEMSELVES AND THE YOUNGER ONESand THEIR NATION NOT TO CRUMPLE BUT TO STAND AND MOVE ON!!!!!!
So since 1963- at Kenya’s Independence, it is possible to graphically present that we have:
1965-1970 1stYouth Generation; 1971-1975 2nd Youth Generation;
1976-1980 3rd Youth Generation; 1981-1985 4th Youth Generation;
1986-1990 5th Youth Generation; 1991-1995 6th Youth Generation;
1996-2000 7th Youth Generation; 2001-2005 8th Youth Generation;
2006-2010 9th Youth Generation; 2011- 2015 10th Youth Generation;
THE YOUTH QUESTION IS THEREFORE THIS, “WHERE ARE THEY- THESE 9 to 10 Generations of Youth of/in Kenya?”If they are spread out and integrated in the Country with Relatively Balanced Opportunities for their Personal Development, Fulfilment, Nation-Building and Service, THEN ALL IS WELL WITH US AS A COUNTRY- THAT IS PART OF DEVELOPMENT!
However, EVIDENCE SUGGESTS OTHERWISE and THAT IS OUR CATASTROPHIC YOUTH QUESTION/AGENDA in Kenya! And probably this is the case with and in other or all Youth beyond our borders!
Like I previously observed elsewhere, each of these Youth Generations, even if not each individual Youth, BUT at least HALF OF EACH OF THE GENERATION OF YOUTH,OUGHT TO HAVE PICKED-UP THE BATON FROM THOSE BEFORE THEMAND KEPT-UP WITH THE RELAY/RACE OF LIFE!
HOWEVER, I SEEM TO THINK THAT MAJORITY OF OUR YOUTH, from one generation to another as above, NEVER FOUND THE BATONS TO PICK-UP AND RUN THEIR BIT OF THE RACE! THAT’S OUR YOUTH DILEMMA; OUR YOUTH QUESTION; and OUR YOUTH AGENDA. Majority of our Youth Generations as above are WASTING AWAY OWING TO LACK OF OPPORTUNITIES for their Personal Self-Growth, Development and Contribution to their Immediate Families and Wider Society.
It was this same Rallying Reason and Underlying Attribute that Explained how with heightened lobbying since the middle of 1990s, the Government of the Day established the current MINISTRY OF YOUTH AND SPORTS! It was envisaged THEN THAT A FULLY FLEDGED MINISTRY OF THE YOUTH WOULD BE NECESSARY and DESIGNED TO WHOLISTICALLY ACCOMMODATE ALL YOUTH ACROSS THEIR POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, CORPORATE, SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND CROSS-CUTTING PILLAR ENDEVOURS OF GOVERNANCE AND DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES FOR ULTIMATE WELL-BEING OF THEMSELVES and EVERYONE. The Concept, Vision, Dream and Framework I personally held during the lobbying period and HOLD TODAY is that The MINISTRY OF THE YOUTH BE REDESIGNED TO CONSIST OF FIVE (5) KEY YOUTH COMMISSIONS (cascading from national to grassroot levels:
- Youth Political Pillar Commission(Focusing on Political Participation in Evolving and Incremental Understanding and Participation in Democratic Ideals, Systems and Practise; Leadership, Elections, Policy and Legislation; Security; Administration, Political Think-Tanking and Strategy etc)
- Youth Economic Pillar Commission(Focusing on Human Capital Resource and Financial and Other Natural Resource Mobilization, Economic Resource Mobilization Think-Tanking and Strategy, etc);
- Youth Corporate Pillar Commission(Focusing on Business Enterprise, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity, Industry, and Capacity Development and Enhancement and Financing of the same, Corporate Business Think-Tanking and Strategy, etc);
- Youth Socio-Economic Sectors Pillar Commission(Focusing on Food and Food Security, Water, Education, Health, Sanitation, Environment, Socio-Economic Sectors’ Think-Tanking and Strategy,etc);
- Over-Arching Cross-Cutting Youth Commission(Focusing on the following Cross-Cutting Facets of 1-4 Pillars above namely; The Constitution and Constitutionalism, Law, Information, Education, Capacity Enhancement, Communication Strategy, Moral Virtues and Values, Culture, Cross-Cutting Think-Tanking and Strategy etc).
As a Strategic Planner, I also envisaged that the entire Operations in the Ministry of the Youth would have:
Emergency Relief Interventions (focusing on possible rescue and remedial mainstreaming of those Youth who belong to the earliest first three generations who made it to adulthood with no hope of life fulfilment and opportunity);
Mid-Term Interventions (focusing on the next three generations who would also be adults today and at the verge of dropping deeper below the poverty line;
Long-Term Interventions (focusing on the current Youth who are here with us and like they always put it ‘Wana HURSLE’.
All above operations would have to cascade from national to grassroot levels with reference to related International and Regional, Youth Concerns.
Such a PICTURE IMPLIED what my opening STATEMENT above sought to INFORM – that the YOUTH ARE NOT A SEPARATE CATEGORY OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE US AND OUR ORDINARY DAILY PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE! THE YOUTH ARE US! This understanding ought to be reiterated over and over again for it carries the GIST OF THE POLICIES AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES WE CONCEIVE, DEVELOP and PUT IN PLACE TO COUNTER THE YOUTH CATASTROPHY WE CURRENTLY HAVE.
ONLY THEN WOULD WE BE MAKING THE DIFFERENCE FOR OUR YOUTH!
God Bless Our Youth;
God Bless Our Country Kenya;
And God Bless His People in the World!
Thank you for now;