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Kenyan youth want to be included in harnessing blue economy



As the Blue Economy Conference kicks off in Nairobi, the Youth Congress is calling for the Kenyan youth to be put at the center of blue economy.

On Monday, the Youth Congress hosted a successful youth and blue economy conference at the United Nations, Nairobi which was a joint effort of The Youth Congress, High Commission of Canada and UN Habitat.

The forum was an integral part of in the Sustainable Blue Economy Summit, and a long-term project that is aimed to enhance youth participation and access to opportunities in the blue economy.

Speaking at the conference, the convener, Raphael Obonyo emphasized on the importance of youth inclusion in the Blue Economy.

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“We believe that real development can only be achieved if youth are put at the centre of blue economy.  Harnessing blue economy must consider inclusion of youth” said Mr Obonyo

Mr. Raphael Obonyo

The meeting interrogated the space and opportunities for the youth, and laid the case for inclusion in the blue economy. The main outcome of the meeting was a set of recommendations by youth, dubbed DeclarACTION that was leveraged from reports of fact-finding missions conducted in four counties in Kenya; Homa Bay, Mombasa, Kisumu and Kilifi, suggestions from millions of youth.

UN-Habitat, Executive Director, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif and UNDP Resident Coordinator, Siddharth Chatterjjee graced the event.

“As attention turns to the Blue Economy, we must ensure that youth are not left behind. Youth must supported to participate and access opportunities in the blue economy” Ms. Maimunah said

Mr Chatterjjee congratulated the youth congress for organizing youth to ensure that their voices are well captured in the discussions around the blue economy.

He however challenged the youth to be solution providers and not problem creators, adding that youth can help to grow the blue economy.

The Principal Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, Dr Francis Owino pledged to ensure that youth are meaningfully involved in all facets of development. He urged the youth to work with the government to develop common solutions that would benefit the youth.

Designate – High Commissioner, H.E. Lisa Stadelbauer also noted that youth are key to the blue economy.

Designate – High Commissioner,H.E. Lisa Stadelbauer

“To realize the blue economy, Canada will continue to support youth to develop capacity and strong voice” she said