The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has proposed the establishment of a permanent Human Resource body, as the key to attaining homegrown industrialisation.
This, pundits say could be a strategy, as he prepares his campaign narrative ahead of the 2022 General Election.
In a public statement on Sunday, July 18, the former Prime Minister said the proposed body will help identify skilled youth, organise domestic skills competitions, pick the best performers, and send them to represent the country to the world.
“We need to start sending our youth to the World Skills Competition. Its 46th edition will take place in October next year in Shanghai, China" Odinga noted.
According to Odinga, supporting and promoting various skilled youth was the only way to have many ‘made in Kenya’ products in Kenyan stores.
“The body will keep data on skilled youths, source support which may include giving specific incentives to SMEs ran by skilled laborers to ensure their passion becomes professions,” Odinga’s statement read in part.
Further, Odinga suggested establishing a curriculum training for skilled youth, the need to recreate and mainstream vocational high schools and clear parallel education paths for those interested in pursuing knowledge careers and the skilled.
“We need to convince our people that academic papers are good and our children need them. But we need to appreciate that societies that have placed emphasis on both knowledge and skills have done better,” Odinga remarked.
He added “Nations that have strong homegrown industrialisation started by paying attention to skilled workers like mechanics, tailors, carpenters among others,”
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Raila’s sentiments are seen to contain some notable similarities with Deputy President William Ruto’s popular ‘hustler narrative’ which seeks to upgrade the “common mwananchi”.
Barely a week ago, Ruto said his political rival (Raila) had conceded and acknowledged there was a need to have a conversation on the fortunes of the ordinary Kenyan.
The DP alleged the former presidential aspirant had seen the light and was ready to be part of the debate on how to improve the livelihoods of the common citizens.
“We told them we will change the conservation in this country. It will no longer be about ethnic alliances but a conversation about the economy, not about power, but the empowerment of Kenyans,” he said during a meeting with Kiambu leaders.