On 27th January 2021, The Youth Agenda launched the Open Contacting Monitoring Tool and an analysis of open Contracting report for Nairobi County. Through funding from UNDP-Kenya, the Youth Agenda implemented a project dubbed “Wajibika”. The project sought to promote open contracting in the administration of the Covid-19 response funds. It also focused on prudent use of public resources in compliance with Public Finance and Management Act, 2012 and Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015. This project led to the development of the Open Contracting Monitoring Toolkit, which will provide a roadmap on how to approach Open Contracting by the government and how citizens can engage in the process. The project further conducted a study on the level of Open Contracting in Nairobi county with regards to the Covid-19 response funds. The launch brought together over 60 participants drawn from both the Private and Public sector i.e. the Government, Youth serving Organizations and donors. The activity was also broadcasted live on the Youth Agenda Youtube channel, see the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLJuGVfTWvk .
While speaking at the launch UNDP Kenya’s Portfolio Analyst, Ms. Joan Vwamu, who was representing the UNDP Kenya Resident Representative expressed UNDP Kenya’s commitment to work with the Youth Agenda and other Civil Society Organisations to advance transparency, accountability and good governance in Kenya. The Youth Agenda board director, Ms. Mercy Nduku, thanked the UNDP Kenya for supporting the Wajibika project and called for more future opportunities to implement the wajibika project across the country. The Youth Agenda Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kelvin Keya appreciated UNDP Kenya and the partners for making the project a success. He also noted the need to invest further in educating the youth on how best to participate in ensuring prudent use of funds as well as training the county government officials on the need for open contracting.
See below the Open Contracting Monitoring Tool and the analysis report of the level of open contracting in Nairobi County.
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The 2020 Youth Employment Conference took place on the 19th & 20th November at the Kenya School of Government, Lower Kabete. This was the inaugural conference and will be held as an annual conference convened by the Youth Agenda.
The conference falls under the Youth Agenda Economic Empowerment Programme that seeks to break the mould of disillusionment and hopelessness of the youth by providing hook-ups that yield fruit, requisite information, and a capacity to look inwards for confidence, shatter stereo-types of what youth are perceived as, with an end result to converting information into opportunity. This year’s conference brought together a total 424 representatives from Government, leaders of industry in the private sector, International Organisations, Civil Society Organisations and youth leaders. The focus was to find solutions in adjusting, readjusting or adapting to the challenges brought to youth employment by Covid-19.
The conference was also held virtually in collaboration with the HomeBoyz Foundation Media, Afarmers Media Team and broadcasted via Youth Agenda social media platforms. It provided an opportunity to identify, highlight, equip and support youth in formal employment plus business with new employability skills. The conference focused on the emerging employment opportunities in the; Digital, Green and Creative Economies. It also had sessions on Entrepreneurship and Financial literacy; Manufacturing; Private sector engagement, Legal frameworks for responsive youth economic empowerment, Gender dynamics and youth unemployment versus peace and security.
The conference was graced by among many, Hon. Anne Nyaga the Cabinet Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Cooperatives, Prof. Nura Mohamed PhD, Director Finance and Administration at Kenya School of Government, Hon. Caleb Amisi the MP Saboti Constituency who represented the Rt. Hon Raila Odinga to close the conference, Caroline Njuki , the Officer In Charge at International Labour Organisation, Mr. George Awalla, Country Director for VSO Jitolee Kenya, Mr. Peter Quest, Youth Program Coordinator, Kenya School of Government, Hon. Juliana Babu, C.E.O Meru Youth Service, Hon. Nancy Okademi, nominated Member of County Assembly from Busia, Mr. Muchiri Mungai, Youth Director Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sarah Gibbons, Team leader CREATE program, Mr. David Gitonga, Representative Nairobi County Commissioner’s office and Mr. Stephen Kadenyo, the Executive Director, Pamoja for Transformation Trust.
Being an opportunity for peer mentorship, the speakers included Youth Agenda 2020 Top 35Under35 awardees. Among them as speakers and panelists include; the life time achievement awardee Olive Gachara, Youth of the Year Entrepreneurship, Joreen Kinyua, Youth of the Year Agriculture, Victor Mugo, Youth of the Year Media Advocate, Winnie Kabintie, Youth of the Year Creative Arts, Nelson Munyiri and Youth of the Year Youth Advocate, Ezra Yego.
The speakers and panelists highlighted a number of issues and platforms to find opportunities for youth. While speaking Mr. Benson Mutuku, a gender expert said, “we need to re-look the levels of socialization and build the capacity of the youth in order to fully understand their dynamics by conducting a Gender- Power Analysis”
In highlighting the opportunities available and the need to empower youth in job creation, County Governance Watch Executive Director, Mr. Kevin Osido said, ‘’statistics from Kenyan Universities show that there are more than 500,000 graduates annually. Ideally, this means that if they all create employment opportunities, there will be new jobs annually. The Government of Kenya needs to step up.”
Hon. CAS Anne Nyaga in encouraging the youth to take up opportunities in the Green Economy said, “Youth need to plug in the untapped opportunities in the Agricultural Industry like digital marketing, value-addition of farm products and their distribution from the farms to the markets,”
The conference also provided a roundtable discussion on Youth and their space in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) reforms. During this session, it came out that the Youth desire change in how they are governed, however the reform process has largely excluded them. They also shared concerns on the proposals as some of them were not clear especially on how they will be implemented.
The Youth Agenda C.E.O Mr. Kelvin Keya emphasized on the need to establish an independent Youth Ministry solely dealing with Youth matters and Empowerment.
Going forward, the Youth Employment Conference will be an annual activity of the Youth Agenda with plans for 2021 already in place. The 2020 report including recommendations will be put public, shared with partners and duty bearers for their consideration and action. Through the recommendations from the conference, the Youth Agenda in collaboration with partners and development players will proactively work on providing avenues for employment of the youth post the Covid-19 pandemic.
We gladly thank our sponsors including: The International Labour Organisation, VSO Jitolee Kenya, Trocaire, World Vision Kenya, Retirement Benefit Authority, HomeBoyz Foundation and Afarmers Media. We appreciate Kenya School of Government, our partners and participants who made the success of the conference.
For more information or to follow through on the conference discussions, please go to:
The Youth Agenda Executes the 2020 Top 35 Under 35 Awards
The Youth Agenda under its grand Youth Empowerment Programme, whose theme is transforming the youth “from a demographic challenge to demographic dividend”, fronted the first ever youth awards in Kenya since independence dubbed the Top 35 under 35 Awards. The 2020 Top 35 Under 35 was fully launched and enacted via social media platforms attracting an audience of 3,485 followers and 3,325 likes on Facebook; 1,208 followers on Twitter and over 600 followers on Instagram. The annual programme saw the awardees being officially celebrated on the 12th of August 2020 during the International Youth Day whose theme was Youth Engagement for Global Action”. The theme focused on ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels enriched national and multilateral institutions and processes. The awards recognized the commendable work the youth are doing in different sectors while contributing to the SDGs, Vision 2030 and the Big Four Agenda.
The Youth Agenda collaborated with the Government of Kenya through the State Department for Youth anchored in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, to unveil the 2020 Top 35 under 35 awardees via a virtual platform; via SDY-KE Zoom account. This saw a social media audience of over 1000 participants from all over Kenya.
The 2020 Top 35 under 35 awards applications ran from 25th April 2020 to 30th June 2020. The awards attracted approximately 3,300 nominations out of whom 125 youth were shortlisted. Persons aged eighteen to thirty four were eligible to apply for the awards process. The call attracted applicants from all the 47 counties in Kenya and Nairobi had the highest response rate at 24% followed by Uasin Gishu at 10% and Kwale at 8%. The gender distribution was evenly distributed with 56% male and 44% female applicants. Most of the applicants were between the ages of 26-29 years while the least portion were those of 34 years at 6% and those of 18-21 years at 7%.
In regards to their educational status, 76% of the applicants had attained university level while only 1% had attained vocational training from the TVET institutions. In addition to that, 6% had secondary level while 17% had attained college education level.
The 125 youth faced a panel of 25 judges for vetting via zoom from various industries to exhibit their mastery of skill and prowess in the different sectors which saw 35 awardees in the following 13 categories:
Exemplary Leadership; Youth champion/Advocate/Practitioner; Entrepreneurship; Agribusiness/Agriculture; Transport industry; Environment Conservation/ Advocacy; Affordable housing industry; Health services/projects; Technology (ICT); Sports; Media Youth Advocate; Creative and Arts & Lifetime Achievement Category.
The 2020 pioneer cohort then transited to a six months mentorship programme that would enable them to excel further in their different sectors. This led to the launch of the Youth Agenda Leadership Academy (YALeA) whose main mentorship thematic areas are Entrepreneurship & Business; Governance & Leadership and Mainstream Employment Mentorship. The Youth Agenda Leadership Academy (YALeA) as a Mentorship and Engagement Programme was officially launched virtually in the presence of the awardees from different physical locations. A needs assessment was conducted to highlight the skill gaps to focus and inform curriculum development.
The awardees have gone through several online mentorship programmes among them “Financial inclusion in the Pension Sector’ facilitated by Mr. James Ratemo in Partnership with Retirements Benefits Authority. Upon completion of the six months mentorship, the awardees are expected to identify a minimum of 3 mentees who they will mentor for the remaining six months as they conclude the fellowship program.
Youth Agenda appreciates its partners and sponsors for the 2020 Top 35 under 35 i.e. UNFPA-Kenya, Postbank, Afarmerz Media, Ford Foundation, Chemba App and above all the Government of Kenya (Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs).