The 32-page guide highlights the critical role of policy on youths in Kenya, legal framework and instruments required for developing the policies, characteristics of a relevant youth policy and the steps in formulating the policy.
The Youth Congress hopes that the document will ensure inclusion of the youth during formulation, implementation and review of youth policies as well as in decision making at both local and national levels.
The guide also stresses the need to mobilise and utilise young people’s dynamism, energies, knowledge and innovative ideas in decision and policy-making processes.
The guide further states that the formulation, implementation and monitoring of a youth policy should be a consultative, participatory and transparent process that ensures meaningful engagement of different actors including private sector, civil society organisations, development partners, academia, media and youth, among other actors.
During the launch at the Unep head office in Gigiri, Raphael Obonyo External Adviser, UN Habitat’s Youth Advisory Board presented the policy guide to nine young people, symbolic of the nine years since Kenya developed a national Youth Policy. The policy was to be revised after every five years – that has never happened.
According to Obonyo who is also the Convener of the Youth Congress, Kenya still relies on a youth policy, which is outdated, out of touch with the new realities and out of tune with the Constitution, Vision 2030 and other critical development plans in the country.
“The Youth Congress is spearheading a campaign for review of the Youth Policy, and we don’t want a revised youth policy before next year (10th year). Nine people identified during the International Youth Day symbolise our nine years of struggle for a new and robust youth policy,” he said.
He added: “Young people’s creativity, energies and fresh ideas are needed in policy making. Involving youth in policy making provides ownership and sustainability. Policies provide a basis for planning and budgeting. Young people don’t just want to sit in the ‘waiting room’ and have other people solve their problems.
Youth want a seat at the decision-making processes – they want to take part in crafting policies for their development and that of the country.” The Youth Policy will also present means of getting youth to be more involved in decision and policy making. The Youth Congress presented the document to the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Anne Waiguru earlier this year to kickstart the review process.