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President Uhuru Kenyatta calls on youth to utilise State allocations

COUNTIES
By Martin Mutua | May 29th 2014 | 2 min read

Nairobi, Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta has appealed to the youth to take advantage of the Government procurement quota allocated to them.

The Head of State expressed disappointment that despite the State’s move to empower the youth, women and people living with disabilities through the 30 per cent procurement quota, which translates to Sh200 billion annually, not many people had paid heed.

“It is unfortunate that you have not fully taken advantage of the 30 per cent you have been allocated by Government. You are currently utilising less than Sh100 billion of the total annual allocation. If we fully utilised the allocation, we would be able to address some of the unemployment challenges that the country is facing,” he said.

President Kenyatta was speaking at State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday where he met members of the National Youth Council (NYC).

Saying the Jubilee Government has placed the youth at the centre of its development agenda, the Head of State advised young people to use Government initiatives, including the Uwezo Fund, effectively.

“You are no longer going to be on the sidelines. We want you to be at the centre of the country’s development,” he said.

Selfish gains

He advised young people to avoid being used by politicians for selfish gains. “We want to set a trend where young people are not used by politicians, but actually contribute effectively to national development,” the President said.

He asked youth leaders to educate others on the need to shun destructive activities and focus on contributing to national development.

“A country is only as progressive as its youth. Therefore, the key focus must shift from vices like idleness, drug abuse and crime to seeking activities that promote individual and national growth,” Uhuru said.

He challenged the NYC to play a proactive role in promoting unity and national cohesion.

Speaking during the meeting, members of the NYC led by their chairman Clement Ayungo, said they will work closely with the Government to promote the youth agenda.

They supported the ongoing transformation of the National Youth Service (NYS), saying the move would give the institution the capacity to equip young people for effective participation in national development through self-employment initiatives.

Responding to issues raised by NYC, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich assured them that all bottlenecks preventing access to Government procurement allocation are being removed.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru said Huduma Centres will have special counters to deal with issues affecting the youth.

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