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Kenya: Excluding Youth Dangerous to Democracy

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The youth are infuriated by the recent trend of appointing politicians above the retirement age to state positions at their expense yet they are the majority.

The appointments show the gulf between the people deciding policy and programmes and the beneficiaries.

The lack of meaningful representation in the relevant governance and decision-making processes defeats the Constitution’s principles of an inclusive, responsive and accountable government.

Articles 10 and 27 provide for inclusivity, equality and freedom from discrimination based of age.

Article 55 requires that the government take measures, such as affirmative action programmes, to ensure that the youth access relevant education and training, have opportunities to associate, be represented and participate in political, social, economic and other spheres of life, access employment, and are protected from harmful cultural practices and exploitation.

But the government has bred hopelessness and disillusionment among the youth, leading to their disconnection from active involvement in the electoral, democratic and governance.

EMPOWERMENT

Notably, the government has established several youth-friendly agencies and affirmative action programmes such as the Youth Enterprise Fund, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Uwezo Fund, Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), National Government Affirmative Action Fund, the Sports, Art and Social Development Fund, Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities Project (KYEOP), the National Youth Service (NYS), the National Employment Authority and the National Youth Council (NYC).