President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to support the youth explore their talent to empower themselves and contribute to development.
He, however, cautioned them that they can only realise their full potential if they seize opportunities and shoulder responsibilities to move the world forward.
“On your part, embrace your chance to lead by seizing opportunity and turning it into tangible achievement. You must stand up, offer, dedicate, shoulder responsibility and carry the world into the future,” he told the youth.
The President spoke when he joined other world leaders on Monday during the launch of an ambitious global partnership through which the United Nations (UN) seeks to get every youth into quality education, training or employment by 2030. During the meeting, he was endorsed as the global champion of the Young People’s Agenda.
The new initiative, a partnership between the UN Youth Strategy 2030 and Generation Unlimited, aims at catalysing pro-youth actions to address the dreams, ambitions and hopes of 1.8 billion youths globally.
Under the aegis of the Unicef, the initiative was launched at the Trusteeship Chambers, UN headquarters, New York, on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly (UNGA).
In his acceptance speech, Uhuru said progress for the youth means progress for the entire humanity. “We do not champion the cause of youth opportunity and hope as a favour, but rather as the necessary, undeniable embrace of our collective future,” he said.
He applauded the Unicef leadership for defining an ambitious agenda which, he said, was equal to the urgency of the moment. “We must give young people education and employment opportunities if our societies are to live up to their full promise,” he added.
He enumerated the various pro-active interventions Kenya has put in place for youth empowerment. They include the policy that requires 30 per cent of all government procurement be awarded to the youth, women and people with disability, access to concessional loans, technical and vocational skills training, volunteer programmes, government internships and apprenticeship programmes.
Under the new initiative, Generation Unlimited will complement and build on existing programmes that support adolescents and young people.