Youth with disabilities are among groups that the United Nations (UN) has identified as potential beneficiaries of decent jobs in the green and blue economies, as well as other key growth sectors in the creative economy.
According to the UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, Dr. Stephen Jackson priority will be given to youths between the ages 15 to 34 especially, young women, youth with disabilities, and those in arid and semi-arid land counties and informal urban settlements.
Dr Jackson said it is important for young people to be meaningfully engaged in decision-making and given appropriate opportunities for work to innovate, saying that the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development Youth Policy that will soon be adopted, will open opportunities for the young people
“UN has long recognized that young people are not just passengers on the journey to development but are key drivers and accelerators of change, fuel for economic growth, and the innovators of technology,” he added.
He at the same time announced that several UN agencies have come together to develop the UN Kenya joint programmes on youth skills, employability, and civic engagement that calls for scaled-up investments toward youth support and empowerment efforts.
Dr. Jackson made the remarks on Monday in a speech read on his behalf by the UN Resident Coordinator Kenya Youth and Partnership Advisor Stephen Gichohi during the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) High-Level Technical Experts and Ministerial meeting on the IGAD Youth Policy Framework held at a Nairobi hotel.
The two-day meeting has drawn technical experts from the IGAD Member States of Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Djibouti, South Sudan, Sudan, and Ethiopia to develop a comprehensive roadmap and action plan for implementing the IGAD Youth Policy Framework that will be used at the institutional, national and regional levels.
It will guide and mainstream youth priorities in policies, laws, and programmes aimed at empowering youth and ensuring their meaningful participation in political processes.
The document will be presented at the Ministerial meeting on Wednesday, September 27 this year for adoption by the Council of Ministers responsible for youth affairs in the region, providing a vital policy and strategic direction for holistic youth development.
The UN Resident Coordinator lauded the Kenya government for its efforts to address unemployment and labor underutilization challenges among the youth through the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda flagship initiatives.
The initiatives include agricultural transformation and inclusive growth, micro, small, and medium enterprises economy, housing and settlement, affordable health, the digital superhighway, and a creative economy aimed at giving young people meaningful engagement and livelihoods.
He said according to data a total of 85 percent of the youth in Kenya aged below 35 are unemployed, noting that UN Kenya through the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2022-2026 has identified young people as a key population at risk of being left behind in the country’s development agenda, adding that UN will complement Member States on the youth development agenda.
Dr. Jackson stated that “UN in Kenya under the office of UN Resident Coordinator will continue to support the delivery of the young people’s agenda through the Joint UN Programme on Youth which will be launched in a couple of weeks.”
He assured that the UN will endeavor to deliver youth support in a coordinated approach while utilizing joint platforms established by Member States, giving an example of Kenya where the government has been playing a pivotal role through initiatives such as “Generation Unlimited’ and the upcoming ‘Youth Connekt Summit’.
The event has been co-hosted by IGAD in collaboration with the Horn of Africa Youth Network and Save the Children.
SOURCE: KENYA NEWS AGENCY