Letters

What is the plan for Kenyan youth past 2022?

youth

A youth carries a stone in as they attempt to block DP William Ruto's motorcade from accessing Kondele roundabout in Kisumu County. PHOTO | TONY OMONDI | NMG

Summary

  • In Africa, there is no country that has solved youth issues by outlining initiatives uttered during every polls cycle.
  • Discontent youth, studies show, are being lured to violent extremism and other societal vices.

As the 2022 general election nears, the youth is a key constituency that politicians are angling for with finesse.

Their numbers and level of technological sophistication make them a critical focus area.

Unless you are in sync with the millions of youth, the vote basket is likely to be depleted.

Post-Independence Kenya and by extension Africa, youth have continued to be a topical issue but it has not been clear what kind of quality policies and initiatives are in place to contextualise, understand and proffer solutions to the millions.

The challenges of the sixties that Kenya ignored haunt the people five decades later.

In Africa, there is no country that has solved youth issues by outlining initiatives uttered during every polls cycle.

Therefore, into 2022, the Kenyan youth are holding the placard of an economy that has failed to inspire confidence, an agricultural system that favours huge land ownership, a poor credit rating from financial institutions and evident voter apathy.

Stimulus packages

Further, into 2022 the youth face a daunting task of Covid-19 that hit economies hard. In any recovery, the government will have to own and decide to give stimulus packages that inspire hope and go beyond the political platforms.

We are also living with the reality that for the lack of proper national youth inspiration, we are handing the millions of wrong choices.

Discontent youth, studies show, are being lured to violent extremism and other societal vices.

Against these hard realities, the question is: How do we ensure that in 2022, the Kenyan youth discussion does not end immediately after the poll?

Weighed down by poor credit rating, the youth will require a raft of economic measures that work for them as they walk free from the shackles of the past five decades and the ruins of the pandemic.

The start point is refusing to be the red carpets and basket fillers.

There should be a game plan beyond 2022.