- Raila says he will also include the youth at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take care of the affairs of the young people.
- The DP has also been wooing the youth with a promise for an elaborate bottom-up economic model that will create jobs.
ODM leader Raila Odinga has promised to appoint at least four youths into his Cabinet if elected President next year.
The promise was made on Tuesday by the Opposition chief in a bid to charm the youth ahead of next year’s general election.
Raila who has escalated his 2022 presidential campaigns said his government will also reserve more appointments for the youth.
Pitching for youth empowerment, the ODM leader insisted that he will place the young generation at the heart of his administration if Kenyans elected him to State House.
“On the issue of Cabinet positions for the youth, they will be more than four,” Raila responded to concerns from the youth at a meeting with a group of young people from Mt Kenya region.
He pointed out that when he served as Prime Minister during the grand coalition government, he did not let down the youth.
“When I was the prime minister, I had round table meetings with the business community and also the youth. The round table meetings were being held quarterly so that we can get feedback from the youth on what problems they are facing and what we are doing. It is something I have tried before and will be part of my policy,” Raila said.
He asked the young people to be part of his journey by campaigning for him.
The ODM boss promised to establish a youth-dedicated department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since a majority of the citizen living outside the country are youth.
According to the 2019 census, the youths are 75 per cent of the 47.6 million population.
These statistics have forced the 2022 presidential candidates to come up with youth-friendly policies to appease the key segment of the electorate.
Deputy President William Ruto, Raila’s presumed main opponent in the 2022 presidential duel, has anchored his campaigns largely on youth-centred policies.
He has promised to roll out an ambitious economic model-the bottom-up model, specifically to the millions of unemployed youths through affordable credit for businesses.
Ruto also says he will establish a multi-million kitty that will be channelled to sectors that can spur growth and produce millions of jobs annually to secure the future of the youth.
On Tuesday, Raila said if the youth are properly empowered, they will become a proper source for wealth creation in the country with an unemployment rate of 10.4 per cent.
If you don’t educate the youth and equip them with necessary skills, they become drug peddlers in society but if properly empowered they become a proper source for wealth creation. That is why we need to attend properly to this issue,” Raila said.
“In the BBI, we wanted to create not just a department but Ministry for Youth Affairs and a national youth commission under that ministry. That commission was going to ensure what is promised in policy documents is implemented.”
Making a strong pitch for women, Raila said there is an urgent need for the country to adopt affirmative action to mainstream women representation.
Raila said irrespective of the outcome of the courts on the Building Bridges Initiative, a solution must be sought to deal with the marginalisation of women in political leadership.
He named a couple of societal barriers that he said impede fair women representation in the political sphere.
He said, for instance, that marriage that forces women to relocate from their birthplaces, pose a danger to the success of women participation in politics.
“We urgently need affirmative action and irrespective of the outcome of the courts we are determined to fix this, otherwise the 2022 results would not be any different,” Raila said.
“They are serious historical traditions that work against women and their representation in Parliament.”
Edited by Kiilu Damaris