Youth issues have for a long time been relegated to the periphery and are only called upon when their numbers are required on political arenas. Projection by UN habitat puts it that by the year 2030, 60% of Kenyan population shall be under 25 years of age and if measures are not put in place chances are that most of this percentage will be found in most urban slums hence complicating the already dare  situation of dealing with unemployment in the urban slums. Youth is a resource all over the world but if not managed carefully it can turn out to be a wasted resource which in turn can be much vulnerable to radicalization and other ills in the society.

Noble ideas such as youth empowerment programs being spearheaded by national youth service and national youth enterprise funds are ideas that are driven by political class and leaders without tangible input from the youth and this explains their constant failure, they also do not offer long lasting solution but only acts as stop gap measures hence keeping youth of this country in a constant state of want. A country such as ours with noble ideas such as upcoming Konza city, standard gauge railway and a robust ICT being developed must as a matter of priority come up with ideas that are youth driven, they should borrow some ideas from Youth Challenge International [YCI] a Canadian organization that premised their ideas on four principles namely; youth involvement, volunteerism, partnership and youth capacity building. Adapting and abiding by the listed principle will see a more active youth who takes part in decision making and is well equipped as a change agent; it will also lead to progress and opportunities for the youth to avoid disappointments. Unless these principles are adapted by our government noble ideas such 30% of government tenders being reserved for youths and youth empowerment program by NYS might not yield much

The youthful constituency also must take their roles actively and participate in the development initiatives of their community; budget making by county government is a key area where public participation by the youth is much needed and as they say the future belongs to the young people

By Charles Ochieng’