You are here

President Kenyatta Commissions Youth-Led National Campaign to Promote Youth Participation and Empowerment.

Nairobi, 7th December, 2020- President Uhuru Kenyatta has officially commissioned the #KenyaNiMimi youth campaign, a nationwide initiative to drive youth dialogue and engagement  in social, economic, and leadership processes in the country. The #KenyaNiMimi campaign was launched by the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs in partnership with UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund. The campaign aims to bring young people  together in collective action to explore youth-led solutions to challenges affecting them, and to promote the health and well-being of young persons across the 47 counties.

“We have the opportunity to retell the narrative of our country, and to retell it through your lives, but only if the youth decide to enter the arena. You must decide to take charge of opportunities. You have a great future ahead of you, and ours is to support you. I hope that through this program Kenya Ni Mimi, you will take ownership of your country,” said President Kenyatta.

 

Coming a year after the ICPD25 conference that was hosted by the government of Kenya under the leadership of His Excellency the President, the launch of the #KenyaNiMimi youth campaign adds momentum to the realization of commitments made by the country to the youth. They include the commitment to harness the demographic dividend through investments in health and wellbeing, education and skills training and empowerment of young people by 2022; the commitment to end FGM by 2022, and the commitment to end teenage pregnancies, new HIV infections, child marriages and Gender Based Violence (GBV) by 2030.

 

At a dialogue session with the youth, President Kenyatta fielded questions on how to tackle issues affecting young persons,  such as gender based violence, FGM, and poor access to services and opportunities for youth with disabilities.

 

“We will take action as government against all those who continue to practice the outdated and backward practice of Female Genital Mutilation. It must end by 2022, ” said President Kenyatta, reaffirming government commitments made at the ICPD25 conference held in Nairobi last year.

 

The 2019 National Census shows that over 35.7 million of the country’s population is aged  below 35 years, accounting for 75.1% of the total population. #KenyaNiMimi aims at creating opportunities for the youth, recognizing their numbers and position as a key pillar in Kenya’s development process. The campaign will reach out to young people across the country to encourage more uptake of government led youth empowerment programs such as  the Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities Project (KYEOP), Ajira Digital platform, and the Youth Fund.

 

Speaking to youth representatives attending the campaign launch, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Joe Mucheru urged the youth to work together towards effecting positive change in the country. “We hope that when you go back to your counties, you will organize more like-minded youth in collective action in the service of your communities,” he said.

 

Data from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey shows that the youth, and especially  young women and girls, face a myriad of challenges that threaten their well being and ability to achieve their full potential. Teenage pregnancy, early marriage, sexual and gender based violence, and new HIV infections amongst young people remain major issues that require action and interventions by the government and other key stakeholders working with the youth.

 

“At UNFPA, we believe that the KenyaNiMimi campaign creates a perfect opportunity for Kenya to maximize on the greatest demographic opportunity presented by the youth, who are at their most productive age to realize the demographic dividend,” says UNFPA representative Dr Ademola Olajide.

 

UNFPA will work with the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs under the banner of #KenyaNiMimi as a platform for youth dialogue and sensitization on matters of sexual and reproductive health rights, and the elimination of harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and gender based violence that continue to affect young people in Kenya.

 

“This campaign will enable us to work directly with the youth in creating positive societal transformations in their communities around innovation, education, environmental conservation, and national cohesion,” says ICT, Innovations and Youth Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Nadia Ahmed Abdalla.

 

The Kenya Ni Mimi campaign will be carried out through community forums held at regional and county level, as well as online engagement aimed at amplifying youth voices on issues that are most important to them.

 

 

 

Media Inquiries:

Irene Wangui

Communications and Advocacy Specialist, UNFPA

Email: wangui@unfpa.org