By Andrew Ombuni
Over 1.5 million youths are being trained and equipped with skills on how to generate income by being self-reliant.
The initiative dubbed ‘The Time is Now Youth Forums’ is being driven by MCAs, MPs and youth leaders below 35 years drawn from three political parties.
The parties are Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Amani National Congress (ANC) and Jubilee Party. Those being targeted are graduates and persons with disabilities.
They are being trained on the procurement and tendering processes both at the national and county governments and how to do business at the digital platform.
Julius Macharia, 27, Witeithie MCA in Kiambu County and chairman of the forum said the initiative came to the foe after the handshake deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga.
Mr Macharia while addressing youths in Lugari Sub County said similar trainings have been carried out in Mombasa, Kiambu, Garissa, Nairobi and Machakos counties and that they head to Nyanza region this month.
“We are targeting at least 5,000 youths per sub-county to have been trained at the end of the exercise which will come to an end in December his year. This translates to over 1.5million youths countrywide,” said Macharia.
He said after the exercise, they will have dialogue with the Government during the Time is Now Youth Forums to be held in Nairobi in December where the President and Raila will grace the event.
Lumakanda MCA Leylah Muhandale, 25, said those already in elective positions will lobby and secure tenders for the youths in a bid to improve their standards of living.
“Politicians have been exploiting youths with handouts so as to achieve their agenda but we now want to change the narrative since the youths are learned and can generate money by themselves,” said Ms Muhandale.
Emmanuel Buchichi, ANC youth leader and coordinator of the forum said they will also be collecting database of the youths during the trainings to ascertain their level of education so as to enable them know how to help them.
“We want to awaken the sleeping giant by making the youths know that money is not in the offices but in business. It doesn’t matter where you come, what matters is what you believe in and then implement it to the fullest,” said Mr Buchichi.
Buchichi said apart from helping the youths create jobs by themselves, they want to ensure their representation in the County Assemblies, National Assembly and the Senate is increased.
He said they are preparing to petition Parliament and the Senate to enact legislations that will preserve MCA seats for the youths.