A meeting of Kenya’s Cabinet Secretaries has approved a new policy to guide government and stakeholders in implementing programs for youth development in the country.
Known as the Kenya Youth Development Policy 2019, the policy aims “to mainstream youth issues in all sectors of national development, on both the micro and macro levels, national and county levels, within the public, private sectors, families and society.” It therefore applies to both National and County Governments, all state organs, state and public officers, the private sector, non-state actors and development partners.
The policy acknowledges contributions of various stakeholders during its consultative development process. Faith actors, led by Faith to Action Network, were among those who deliberated on a draft of the policy and submitted both oral and written memoranda. “Gathered in deliberations on the proposed draft youth policy, our respective faiths and denominations of Hindu, Muslim and Christians, appreciate issues promoted by the draft policy including values and patriotism, health and wellbeing, education and skills, economic empowerment, environment as well as governance,” part of the written submission read.
The Cabinet meeting was chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
Among the strategies that the new policy seeks to employ is to support initiatives meant to improve the physical and emotional health and well-being of youth. The strategy promotes and supports programmes on personal hygiene, physical fitness, reproductive and mental health of young people. It also sets out to increase availability and access of health information and services to the youth and investment into strengthening the youth friendly health management system of the country.
The Government of Kenya will “promote and support youth campaigns aimed at encouraging a change in sexual behaviour and discouraging teenage and early pregnancies, drug and substance abuse, and negative peer influence,” reads one of the policy objectives.
Coordination of this policy implementation is vested at the Ministry of Public Service, Gender and Youth Affairs. It now remains with this line ministry to develop an implementation plan detailing strategy, activities, target group, performance indicators, responsibility holders, time lines and resource requirements.