The Youth Cafe was part of the Government of Kenya’s roll out of the Kenya Youth Development Policy (KYDP) (2018) at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. The Policy is aimed at demonstrating the country’s commitment in spearheading multi- dimensional approaches and initiatives to address the challenges currently facing our youth, while optimizing the several strengths and opportunities that the youth present.
It is important to acknowledge that previous policies have helped the country to achieve a number of key milestones in youth empowerment efforts. Notable among them being: the establishment of the National Youth Council as a representative body advancing the voice of the youth; and the establishment of several Affirmative Action Funds that continue to provide the youth, women and people living with disabilities with low/ interest-free funds for economic empowerment activities.
The Policy, which is an outcome of a broad based consultative process, is designed to scale up youth empowerment interventions as well as the youths’ value contribution to nation building. Among the many benchmark priorities set out in the new Policy are: alignment of the youth programmes to the Big Four Agenda of Government (2018-2022), Kenya Vision 2030 and its Medium Term Plans, the Constitution (2010) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (2030); establishment of a National Youth Volunteerism Strategy to allow the youth to give back to society through their competencies and talents; and development of a Kenya Youth Development Index to track and measure the impact derived from all the youth programmes, projects and activities that we implement. The identified policy objectives focus on youth development, health and nutrition; creativity, patriotism and nation building, skills development, entrepreneurship, employment, curbing drug use and substance abuse and radicalization among the youth. The Policy also provides the institutional, coordination, communication, monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure effective implementation of identified policy objectives and measures.
The Policy is meant for the youth and youth serving organizations, families and the community. Its main objective is to mainstream youth issues in all sectors of national development, at both the micro and macro levels, national and county levels, within the public, private sectors, families and civil society. All are encouraged by the Policy to take affirmative action for the youth as a strategy of participation and empowerment while harnessing their potential.
The success in the implementation of the Policy shall require a multi-faceted approach and support from all stakeholders in the youth agenda. The youth themselves; all youth serving organizations and groups; development partners; families and the larger society; private sector; the County Government; National Government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the international community shall play a leading role in the realization of the aspirations of the Policy.
The Youth Cafe remains committed to all efforts directed at the realization of the youths’ potential in nation building, in line with the Constitution and all regional and international conventions and charters it has signed relating to the youth.