Henry Andanje and DPPS @PeopleDailyKe
Deputy President William Ruto has called on the youth to take their rightful position in society and shape Africa’s development.
He said youth should not allow their power to transform the continent be understated by the often-used notion that their time would come tomorrow.
“You must be hungry for a better future if you are to make it in life, and turn around the society. Impossible, is a word with diminished application and relevance,” he said.
Ruto spoke on Saturday night at a Kampala hotel, when he received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“In making the decision to grant me this award, the organisers make reference to the contributions I have been privileged to make in my country, specifically in the development and transformation of our young people,” he said.
He said the recognition represents the idea that Africa must learn to celebrate and validate her own “rather than wait for external approvals”.
But for youths to unlock their potential, the DP said there is need for Africa’s education system to be reformed to lean towards science, technology and technical training.
“While at school, I marvelled at the pedagogy that emphasised information of little relevance to Africa’s economic development,” he said.
For what shall it profit a young person to know when Vasco da Gama reached Malindi or when Henry Morton Stanley discovered the mouth of the Congo River, he wondered, unless such a youth is acquainted with the science of crop production or electricity generation and the art of design?
Driven by the desire to make the education system relevant to the needs of the society, Ruto said for the last six years, the government of Kenya has put more emphasis on the “forgotten, ignored and underfunded technical training” for Kenya’s industrial take- off.
“Today, we boast of 11 national polytechnics, 125 vocational colleges and 67 others at different stages of development. From the current 180,000 students in technical colleges, our plan is to expand enrolment to over three million in the next five years,” he said.
And in a speech read by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, President Yoweri Museveni urged youth to focus on issues that are transformative.
“Well guided young people are an asset to the community. They are an important link between the past and the present. We are glad that the focus of youth today is on bringing solutions to societal problems,” he said.
Rugunda lauded Ruto for the good work he was pursuing not only in Kenya but across the region.