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Involve youth in urban planning, VC says

By Daniel Psirmoi | February 9th 2016
Nairobi University Vice Chancellor Prof. Peter Mbithi opens a national urban youth forum taken on 8th February 2016. PHOTO:WILBERFORCE OKWIRI

The national and county governments have been urged to engage the youth in urban planning and development.

University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Peter Mbithi said the only way to overcome the numerous challenges that come with the high rate of urbanisation is to involve youths in planning.

Speaking yesterday after officially launching a two-day national urban youth forum at the university, Prof Mbithi said the youth are the most affected by the challenges in urban centres.

"Unemployment, insecurity (and) growth of slums are some of the challenges resulting from the high rates of urbanisation. It is imperative for the national and county governments to address these issues by incorporating the input of young people," he added.

He said policy makers should ensure there is meaningful contribution of young people in development of cities and towns to ensure their energy and talents are tapped.

"The youth are the society's most important and dynamic human resource and should not at any time be ignored as they have the potential to drive change. They should be involved and accorded enough support to key decision making and policy processes such as urban development and governance," Mbithi said.

The forum whose theme is 'Young people in the forefront of shaping Kenya's urban future' is a formal engagement for the youth in the country to contribute to the Post -2015 Development Agenda of the Habitat III conference. The forum is sponsored by UN Habitat.

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