A group of youth have declared support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce proposals, barely a day after the report was handed over by the steering committee to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Yesterday, two groups converged at a hotel in Nairobi where they made declarations vowing to conduct a nationwide sensitisation program to rally all youth to support the proposals in entirety.
Led by their Secretary General Sam Were, and chairperson Kelvin Gichohi; the youth said the proposals would promote entrepreneurship among young people.
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The proposals contained in BBI include seven-year tax holiday for youth starting business, creation of employment bureaus targeting youth in counties and four-year grace period for beneficiaries of Helb loans.
Were said the challenges that youth have been facing including punitive penalties for Helb loan defaulters had come to an end.
“We have all the reasons as youth not only to support the proposals but also convince other Kenyans to ensure the amendments go through. Many youth seeking employment cannot be cleared by Helb because they have defaulted due to joblessness,” said Were.
He argued that the issue of joblessness had also been addressed through the creation of employment bureaus and the tax holiday.
“Youth will no longer have reasons to complain of joblessness once these proposals are accepted. Any youth against the proposals is either ignorant of the challenges we are facing or compromised by political conmen,” argued Were.
He added, “Youth will just have to apply for loans and engage in some business and at the seventh year you will have managed to start the repayment. What more do we want?”
Gichohi said the proposal to have youth access 30 per cent public procurement opportunities was also a big win for the young people.
“We have had discouraging experiences in the past whenever it comes to procurement opportunities. Those in charge have reduced us to beggars yet it should be a right. The amendments will now make it a right for youth to be given the consideration,” said Gichohi.
The youth said they would condemn political leaders seeking to mislead the country over the proposed changes.
“The coming change is inevitable. There is no way any youth can oppose the proposals,” said Gichohi.