18 Dec Fewer Youth Hold Plum State Jobs Despite Parties Pledge
Government should provide enabling environment for young people’s participation and representation in politics.
“Generally the outcome of the just-concluded poll has recorded a slightly lower representation of the elected and nominated youth compared to 2013” Susan Mwongera, the Chief Executive Officer of rights group the youth Agenda Told the Sunday Standard.
The youth aged between 18 and 34, are the largest group in Kenya’s population. While they constitute the majority of the electorate, their participation in politics and representation in formal institutions is relatively low. The government should adopt strategies for engaging the youth through empowerment to enable them to play a greater role in decision making, many say. Activists have also weighed in on the matter, saying young people are excluded from full participation in governance and political systems. “If the youth are meaningfully and effectively involved in political parties, activities and leadership, the youth would positively impact the quality of governance and government in Kenya,” Reverend Timothy Njoya says.
Counties with Youthful speakers (Percentage- 8.51%)
- Elgeyo Marakwet
Of the 14,523 cleared candidates to participate in the August elections, 1,888 were youth aged below 35 years constituting a mere 13 percent. This was higher than female candidates who constituted only 9 percent.
Registered Voters – 19611423
Youth Voters (18-35 Years) – 10001825 (50.6%)
Elected Youth MCA’s
- Male: 275
- Female: 22
Nominated Youth MCA’s
- Male: 49
- Female: 81
Young MPs after 2013 Elections
Fewer youth have been elected or nominated to political office this year compared to 2013.
This is despite the jubilee party’s pledge that the youth would be given more leadership and employment opportunities.
WHAT JUBILEE HAS PROMISED THE YOUTHS
- Establish centers for Innovation
- Register young people in need of employment through the youth development council
- Link youth to potential employers
- Attach youth to public projects
- Establish youth development council
- Establish biashara bank by merging youth related financial parastatals.
- Provide structured support to the creative sector.
Center for Multiparty Democracy Explores young people participation in political and community. It states that although parties have youth leagues, these arms are weak and poorly funded with unclear sources of finances and mandates. The youth are generally underrepresented in party leadership as well as in representative assemblies. They occupy only a few positions at the top echelons of party hierarchy.
According to the independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) 50.6 Percent or 10,001,825 out of 19, 611,423 votes were youths aged between 18 and 35 years. IEBC official numbers also reveal that comparatively, fewer younger women were elected or nominated to Parliament, erasing gains made in the 11th House. Consequently, the youth through their organizations, see the election outcome as a missed opportunity to further the gains of representation having lobbied for years for better political representation which is one of the lowest in East Africa.
“We hoped to get more numbers but this did not happen partly because the system is still rigged against us,” Mohammed Hassan Ali, who vied for MCA in Lamu’s Shela Ward, said. He continued; “ it is still very expensive to run for elective seat and many of the political parties we vied on still owe their allegiance to individuals rather than ideologies and, it is these individuals who decide who runs and who doesn’t.”
The constitution requires that the government undertake affirmative action measures to ensure the youth have access to relevant education training and employment. It also requires that the State creates and strengthens existing platforms for youth participation in political, social, economic spheres of life and legislate towards this end.
“News article from the Sunday Standard 17/12/2017”