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).
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