President Uhuru Kenyatta today said the youth bulge remains the greatest asset in the socioeconomic transformation Kenya as well as the African continent.
By empowering young people with capabilities for entrepreneurship, innovation and relevant technical skills, said the President, we can transform their great potential into a unique advantage.
Our youth represent an immense opportunity, in a world faced with an ageing population, said the President
“In a global space with an ageing population, we in Kenya and Africa are determined that the youth bulge remains our biggest secret weapon,” President Kenyatta said.
As such, said the Head of State, the youth will remain at the centre of the government’s development agenda.
The President spoke at State House, Nairobi, during this year’s President’s Award-Kenya (PA-K) where over 1200 Gold awardees received certificates for their exemplary performance in various fields within their institutions and the community.
The 1205 awardees were drawn from universities, colleges, secondary schools, correctional institutions, community-based institutions and church groups.
Nyeri High School presented 99 awardees, the highest number among all the participating institutions.
The PA-K is a self-development program available to all young people aged between 14 and 24 years, countrywide equipping them with positive life skills to make a difference for themselves, their communities, country and the world.
It was launched in 1966 by the founding father of the nation, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
The Award is a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Association, which oversees the Award Programme for young people in over one hundred and twenty countries.
The President said the youth must be given an opportunity to be heard and that was why he has placed put them at the centre of his Big Four Agenda.
“You will recall that I put young people at the heart of my decisions when I unveiled my agenda for creating jobs through increased manufacturing, providing more affordable roofs over our heads, ensuring food Security through revamped agricultural production and delivering affordable healthcare for all,” said the President.
He said as President, he will continue to provide the youth with the necessary space to grow, develop and be responsible citizens that Kenyans can be proud of.
“That is why my Administration has invested heavily in education—from improving infrastructure at all levels, providing free day secondary
education, and increasing capitation,” he pointed out.
The Head of State spoke strongly about the need for national unity and asked every Kenyan to play their part to cultivate and embrace cohesion which he said was paramount to the realization of peace and prosperity.
“Every Kenyan must understand the value of unity and how our individual choices, particularly the politics we support, play into building or destroying it,” President Kenyatta said
The unity of the nation is the shield against dangers that have shuttered other countries, President Kenyatta emphasized.
“A united, cohesive nation, guarantees the promise of shared prosperity for all, ensuring that our young people can be hopeful that their future is in safe hands,” he said.
Besides the participating students, 10 Alumni of the program received life membership certificates from the President.
Other speakers included the Cabinet Secretary for Education Ambassador Amina Mohamed and PA-K Executive Director Nellie Munala.
PA-K is a parastatal whose activities are overseen by a Board of Trustees.