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Next government must not shortchange youth on State appointments

Sheep drink rainwater from a pothole along Nanyuki-Naibor road in Laikipia County, May 24, 2022. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

The next government must keep the promises made during the campaigns to empower the youth, including appointments to state jobs. 

The administration must bring young people to the table; build out opportunities for young Kenyans and create a diverse public service pipeline.  

Appointment of Cabinet, Principal Secretaries, Parastatal heads, and envoys should not fail the youth representation test. Most importantly, the appointment of youth will be a good move only if the appointed person genuinely champions the interests of youth and not of politicians.  

The selection process should be disclosed to have a truly talented and competent representative as it will serve as a ray of hope for other youths.  

The youth are a large, highly diverse group with differentiated voices. My hope is that appointments across the board will empower the youth.   

Another focus to empower the youth should be the directive to give them public tenders. This has failed to materialise due to the lack of a sound policy framework, and the presence of powerful cartels in government departments still controlling procurement processes.  

The next government should pay keen attention to youth unemployment. Currently, if one looks at the role youth are playing in the private sector, it is clear they drive the economy.

When the next President announces a new Cabinet, he should create a ministry dedicated to youth affairs, and a youth directorate to oversee their programmes.

Voter apathy among the youth is a protest against exclusion and how the government has lost touch with their plight. Considering their role in elections, this is not a good political capital for the government.   

The next government must match its words with action, and implement the promises made to the youth. 

Letter to the Editor from Raphael Obonyo.