Wednesday, 15 May 2013

President Uhuru and PSC must consider youth in their appoints of CSs and PSs..

There are few things the government needs to look into without necessarily compelling interested groups to seek legal redress as pertains appointments.
1. The requirement of 15 years experience before one can be appointed Principle Secretary is discriminatory to the youth of Kenya and is against the spirit and letter of Articles 27, 55 and 56 of the constitution. With the 15 years' experience requirement the earliest one can be a PS is at age 42! Minimum age of joining college is 20, 4 years of an undergraduate, 2 years of a masters degree that is also a prerequisite, then 15 years working experience 5 of them must have been in top management!
2. In the same spirit and letter of article 27, 55 and 56 among other provisions, the cabinet appointments as so far witnessed have no youth as defined in the National Youth Council Act of 2009, Article to 260 of the constitution of Kenya and the National Youth Policy of 2007.

The President and Public Service Commission (PSC) must ensure that these provision of the law are met in the remaining appointments of PSs and CSs otherwise this trend will precipitate a court action and its also bad for the image of the government.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Youth-Council-Kenya/646885318659674

Friday, 3 May 2013

UP, CLOSE AND CANDID ON THE NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL



Profile:
The National Youth Council is a statutory organ; body corporate established pursuant to the Kenya National Youth Council Act, number 10 of 2009 to act as an advisory, research and policy institution on youth affairs in the country.

Mandate:
The National Youth Council as established through the National Youth Council Act, 2009 is mandated to among other things co-ordinate youth organizations, design and continuously review the National Youth Policy. It’s also tasked with developing an "integrated national youth development plan" in collaboration with the ministry responsible for youth affairs.
Here are some of the primary functions:
·         Promote and popularize the National Youth Policy
·         Ensure structures are established and developed for effective implementation of the policy
·         Design key performance indicators and mechanisms to ensure adherence to policy.

Functions:
The National Youth Council will, among other functions:
 (a) regulate and co-ordinate activities and initiatives relating to the
youth being undertaken by youth groups, youth focused community-
based organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society
movements and other organizations;
(b) promote and popularize the national youth policy and other policies
that affect the youth;
(c) facilitate the periodic review of the national youth policy in line with
other government policy statements;
(d) mobilize resources to support and fund youth programmes and
initiatives;
(e) lobby for legislation on issues affecting the youth;
(f) liaise with other organizations
to ensure that the youth gain access
to resources and services appropriate to their needs;
(g) promote relations between youth organizations and other bodies
both nationally and internationally with similar objectives or interests;
(h) inspire and promote the spirit of unity, patriotism, volunteerism and
service among the youth;
(i) formulate operational guidelines that protect the youth against any
form of abuse or manipulation;
(j) mobilize and sensitize relevant stakeholders on the concept of  community youth service;
(k) act as a voice and bridge to ensure that the Government and other policy makers are kept informed of the views and aspirations of the youth;
(l) promote research, collation and analysis of data on youth issues; (m) promote the inclusion of youth agenda in the formulation of policy by public institutions and organisations;
(n) promote the inclusion of youths in decision-making bodies, boards, agencies and other public institutions and organisations;
(o) promote and popularize the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and such other devolved funds
targeting the youth as may be established from time to time;
 (p) perform any other function that may directly or indirectly contribute to the attainment of the foregoing.

Historicity:
The idea of coming up with a National Youth Council first came up about two decades ago when vibrant youth movements inspired by the then effective civil society seeking mainstreaming of youth in matters government and a general desire towards youth empowerment.

Several initiatives to convince the government at different times to establish a National Youth Council starting with a national youth conference in March 1997 dubbed NYC I held in Limuru,  NYC II Limuru in February 1998, NYC III at KICC in Nairobi to NYC IV , the most remembered one done in September 2008 at Bomas of Kenya  .

The National Youth Council first made its way to parliament in 2004. It was until 2008 after the 2007/2008 post election violence that the Bill was brought in the National Accord that created the Coalition Government.

In the famous Article Four of the National Accord, the youth were identified for having played a leading role in the violence and one of the mitigation measures suggested in the National Accord was to have National Youth Council Bill passed into law.
That would wait till 2009 when parliament passed it and President Mwai Kibaki ascended it into law on 30th of December 2009.

The government through the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports at the moment under Hon. Paul Otuoma moved to operationalize the council by carrying out National Youth Council elections in 2011 May. The exercise ground to a halt after two High Court petition is Nairobi and Nakuru stopped the process on 23rd May. The cases would drag on in court for slightly over a year till 7th August, 2012 when the last of the cases was ruled on in at the High Court Nakuru by Lady Justice Roselyne Wendo.

The period when the cases were before court, young people took to streets in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kakamega and Bungoma on several occasion to try force government to take the cases seriously because on several occasions the cases were postponed because government respondents, the Attoney General and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports never appeared in court.

After the court cases, the process having been given a clean bill of health was continued from September 2012 and the final elections were held on December 10th at Kenya High School in Nairobi where more than 1000 youths from all the districts of Kenya gathered to elect 16 of them to the council.

The premier National Youth Council came into being was gazetted with the following as the first ever members of the council and its engraved in the indelible ink of history as recorded
in the gazette notice No. 194 of 21st December, 2012 that reads thus:

THE NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL ACT
(No. 10 012009) APPOINTMENT
IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred by section 5 (1) (g) and (h) of the National Youth Council Act, 2009, the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports appoints -
Under section 5 (1) (g)
Edwin Palapala,
Nesphory Nyange,
Rose Komu,
Vallen Yiaile,
Clement Ayungo,
Fatuma Harrow Abubakar,
Arnold  Maliba,
Benson Kitoo Mutemi,
Under section 5 (1) (h)

Mary Achieng,  
Billy Graham Okumu,
Julie Njen Waweru,
Samuel Kipkurui Chepkwony,
Rahow Abdi Jimale,
Dishon Memo,
Maganda Jackline,
Paul Mugambi,

to be a member of the National Youth Council, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 10th December, 2012.

Dated the 11th December, 2012.
Status of operationalisation:
Fast forward after the gazettment and the whole process has little if any progress. Four months down the line, the council doesn’t have an operational office and it was just a week ago (20th April,2013) that the parent ministry managed to induct the members in Mombasa, four months later, the excuse has always been that there’s no money.

The Ministry of Youth Affaires and Sports has in one too many ways demonstrated unpreparedness fro the whole process. Every step has been taken belatedly and it has cost the council a lot of time and pressure from youths who don’t understand what’s happening.

The dream and noble idea that is the national youth council is wasting away because of an unprepared youth ministry, government beauracracy, and unwillingness by sections of government that to have the council up and running.

Despite the fact that the council has met severally and even elected its chairperson Clement Ayungo and set up working committees, the ministry says they never had factored in their budget operationalisation costs for the council.

The government has also not put in place the Youth Advisory Board, an important component in the functioning of the National Youth Council despite the fact that names to the board were availed by relevant  authorities over two months ago. The president is also yet to appoint the chair man to the board; all these are slowing the progress and match of the council, the only legal framework that the youth of this country can engage government and other stakeholders.

What’s needed to fully operationalize the council?

The council needs office, office equipment and stationery to run like any other organization. The Council also needs to hire its secretary who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and staff to run its affairs. There’s also need to have funds to facilitate day to day running of the affairs of the council.

Top on the priorities of the council’s action plan is to come up with a strategic plan, work plan, and facilitate the review the National Youth Policy which is due for review, to develop an integrated national youth development plan to be in synch with Vision2030 and other government policy statements to facilitate true mainstreaming of youth affairs in government.

The Council also has amendment of the National Youth Council Act, 2009 as priority to ensure that the law is aligned to the new constitution.

The Council’s in-tray is full but despite numerous visits to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Treasury, lots of letters to the concerned persons nothing is forthcoming from the request to have a start up supplementary budget of Ksh. 30 million. The Council has also made a budget to treasury for the year 2013/14 but wasn’t successful in defending it because of time, logistical and beauracratic hurdles of aspects that ought to have been taken care of by the parent ministry, the council’s secretariat (that doesn’t exist as yet) and other government functions.

The work ahead;
The new government has a basketful of promises to the youth and days ahead for young people look bright going by the promises but the role of the National Youth Council in attaining the set vision by the Jubilee government for the youth of Kenya cannot be wished away and strengthening and making the council functional is a prerequisite for the government to achieve its word to the youth of Kenya.

The Council and an inter-ministerial committee on youth comprising representatives of relevant ministries dealing with youth issues need to be up and running to monitor and review the youth activities carried out by various players in the Government as stipulated in the action plan to be developed by the council and related government agencies dealing with youth issues.

Hope springs eternal!
Despite the insurmountable challenges bedeviling it, the council is working around the clock to unlock the process and so far there are reasons to toast up to; the new government has picked interest in having operational, youthful parliamentarians are also up and about working on jam starting this juggernaut that is NYC. In the coming days you are going to see so much get to work for the council. The 15 Million youth of Kenya and the 44,010 delegates should soon look up to this organization as their official voice and negotiator even as we await and work on 1 million jobs, 2.5% of national revenue going to youth enterprises, 30% government procurement to going the youth and that small matter about the Ksh. 6 billion being given to the youth in form of grants! Hope as they say, springs eternal!  

Thursday, 18 April 2013

National Youth Council-Kenya: Making Youth Affairs a thematic area under "Sports...

National Youth Council-Kenya: Making Youth Affairs a thematic area under "Sports...: In unveiling his government's structure, President Uhuru released a refreshing list but one aspect was  disturbingly missing; the youth...

Making Youth Affairs a thematic area under "Sports, Art and Culture" is A folly Mr. President!

In unveiling his government's structure, President Uhuru released a refreshing list but one aspect was  disturbingly missing; the youth platform. It is of concern that the president saw it fit to lump youth affairs under a ministry dubbed "Sports, Art and Culture"...It should be noted that youth affairs are not limited to sports, art and culture!

Of more concern still is that the president since his swearing in has depicted signs that much as he speaks large on youth issues is intended on trivializing youth affairs platform and tools. He through his inaugural speech said he would merge the youth and women funds, an issue that didn't go down well with the affected groups.

Today the structure of government released made youth affairs a minor aspect that would be taken care of under a docket dubbed "Sports, Art and Culture." This development is disheartening and puts doubt on his commitment on matters youth, seeing how he is handling institutions, platforms and tools that should in essence be driving the youth agenda. Whoever is advising the president on youth affairs is making a serious blunder. This must be corrected immediately.

Sample the structure below:

President Uhuru Kenyatta unveils the structure of his Government.

In exercise of the authority vested in him by the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and in conformity with the expectations of a lean and effective structure, President Kenyatta officially released the list of ministries and state departments that will form the National Executive as follows:
Under the Presidency, there will the Executive Office of the President and the Executive Office of the Deputy President with two ministries:
  1. Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.
  2. Ministry of Devolution and Planning.
Other ministries are:
3. Defence.
4. Foreign Affairs.
5. Education which will have the Department of Education and Department of Science and Technology.
6. The National Treasury.
7. Health.
8. Transport and Infrastructure which will have the Department of Transport Services and the Department of Infrastructure.
9. Environment, Water and Natural Resource.
10. Land, Housing and Urban Development.
11. Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) .
12. Sports, Culture and the Arts.
13. Labour, Social Security and Services.
14. Energy and Petroleum.
15. Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries under which are the Department of Agriculture, Department of Livestock and Department of Fisheries
16. Industrialization and Enterprise Development.
17. Commerce and Tourism which has the Department of Commerce and Department of Tourism.
18. Mining.
The structure also contains the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice.
In the new structure, President Kenyatta has collapsed the ministries from 44 to 18. The reduced structure is geared towards achieving a lean, efficient and effective executive branch of Government.
In the structure, the President has given special focus to the youth, gender, devolution, planning as well as national cohesion and integration which have all been brought under the Presidency.
Also given special focus is mining which is now a stand-alone ministry. Information, Communication and Technology ministry as well as Sports, Culture and Arts are also stand-alone ministries with a view to leveraging on the creative potential of the youth. Infrastructure ministries as well as national resources ministries have also largely been brought under the same roof.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

NYC Upadate

Over two months ago young people from all over the country gathered at Kenya High on 10th December, 2012 for the National elections of members of National Youth Council (NYC), at the end of the exercise 16 members of the council had been elected, their names were gazetted on 21st December in the official Kenya Gazzette, they had their first meeting a month latter in February, chose office bearers; with the Chairmanship going to Jim Clement Ayungo, Vice-Chairmanship went to Fatuma Abdi and also chose 8 members to the Youth Advisory Board. A month latter the council had its second sitting where different offices/committees were put in place as fiollows: Spokesperson (Communication/Marketing/PR) Maliba Arnold, Finance/Admin Palapala Edwin, Resource Mobilization and External Relations Julie Waweru, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Benson Mutemi, Programs and Development Samwuel Chepkwuony, Youth Fund Board Rep Nesphroy Nyange.

For the purposes of this brief I will not go into the technical and administrative challenges that have so far slowed the whole process but its fine to report that the process of putting up a new institution in government quarters is slow because of the prevailing circumstances and the just concluded elections.

The offices are being set up at Uchumi House 16th floor, members have done a budget and forwarded to Treasury as is required by law, they are likely to be going for their first induction in the next two weeks, a necessity that has been delayed for so long. Then hire the secretary/c.e.o and staff members and the council will become fully operational.

Some of the plans underway include opening council branches in every county (with at least 3 permanent employees and 4 temporary depending with the work available), and holding elections for NYC county offices once funds come in starting in the financial year of June/July,
we are putting measures to ensure that the National Youth policy is reviewed, the NYC ACT, 2009 is redone according to the desires of young people, we also are working on ensuring that young people are mainstreamed in leadership starting with CDF committees according to the CDF Act 2013 among others, we too hope to officially launch the council latter in the year.

For those of you who still don't know what the functions of the council are, sample this and also get the Kenya National Youth Council Act of 2009;

The functions of the Council shall be to—
(a) regulate and co-ordinate activities and initiatives
relating to the youth being undertaken by youth
groups, youth focused community-based
organizations, non-governmental organizations,
civil society movements and other organizations;
(b) promote and popularize the national youth policy
and other policies that affect the youth;
(c) facilitate the periodic review of the national
youth policy in line with other government policy
statements;
(d) mobilize resources to support and fund youth
programmes and initiatives;
(e) lobby for legislation on issues affecting the
youth;
(f) liaise with other organizations to ensure that the
youth gain access to resources and services
appropriate to their needs;
(g) promote relations between youth organizations
and other bodies both nationally and
internationally with similar objectives or
interests;
(h) inspire and promote the spirit of unity,
patriotism, volunteerism and service among the
youth;
(i) formulate operational guidelines that protect the
youth against any form of abuse or manipulation;
(j) mobilize and sensitise relevant stakeholders on
the concept of community youth service;
(k) act as a voice and bridge to ensure that the
Government and other policy makers are kept
informed of the views and aspirations of the
youth;
(l) promote research, collation and analysis of data
on youth issues;
(m) promote the inclusion of youth agenda in the
formulation of policy by public institutions and
organizations;
(n) promote the inclusion of youths in decision making
bodies, boards, agencies and other public
institutions and organizations;
(o) promote and popularize the Youth Enterprise
Development Fund and such other devolved
funds targeting the youth as may be established
from time to time;
(p) perform any other function that may directly or
indirectly contribute to the attainment of the
foregoing.

The work is enormous, but we promise to deliver on it and keep you updated and also involved.

NYC: VOICE OF THE YOUTH!