President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday launched the Sh1.9 billion school furniture project that will see artisans supply 650,000 locally assembled desks.
Besides equipping secondary and primary schools, the project which is part of the government's post-Covid-19 economic stimulus program, is aimed at boosting the jua kali sector.
Speaking during the launch at a furniture workshop in Umoja estate, Nairobi County, the President said the project is modelled on the ongoing Kazi Mtaani youth employment initiative.
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“After Kazi Mtaani program, we have said instead of school desks being made by big companies, we give our youth the opportunity to exercise their skills.
“We believe in individuals earning from their sweat and hence we decided to give our skilled youth the opportunity to earn decent livelihoods,” he said.
The Head of State reiterated his commitment to continue improving the lives of all Kenyans by creating an enabling environment for hard working citizens to thrive.
“I don’t want to engage in empty politics of name calling. Rather, I am working hard to ensure all Kenyans work and enjoy the fruits of their labour,” he said.
He further directed the ministries of education and interior to ensure that the project benefits artisans across the country.
“We want to ensure all our youth with skills are engaged so as to benefit from their sweat. This program is not for Nairobi alone but for all Kenyans who are skilled and are working in the jua kali sector,” he said.
He challenged local artisans to ensure they assemble and supply desks that meet the highest quality standards and advised project beneficiaries to form saving societies to grow their earnings from the project.
“Once you start this work encourage all young people to form SACCO’s where they can be putting their savings. You should not utilise every coin, it is wise for you to save for the future,” Uhuru said.
On his way from the launch, the President, who was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang'i (Interior) and Prof George Magoha (Education), made a brief stop over at the Nairobi Railway Station where he inspected ongoing modernisation works.