Uhuru’s speech during president’s award

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Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I warmly welcome you to State House to celebrate the achievements of our young people. The wealth of skills they have amassed during their participation in the Award Programme is not only for their individual benefit but also for the society.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I congratulate those recognized today. May their achievements serve as motivation to potential participants, and those already at their bronze and silver levels to soldier on with their activities, it will be their turn tomorrow.

I encourage the Gold Awardees to go out in society and apply the invaluable ideals of the Award Programme. Consider yourselves as that single important candle that can light many more candles to provide sufficient light for all in our society. My Government will continue to work and walk with you.

Young People,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased today to launch the President’s Award – Kenya 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan.

The plan focuses on enhancing its identified 5 pillars namely; reach, relevance, visibility, structure and sustainability so that it effectively and efficiently responds to the achievement of youth and national development goals, as reflected in the Kenya Vision 2030 and the Medium Term Plans as well as the Kenya constitution, 2010.

My Government is taking a lead role in ensuring that our young people are prepared for the future in the ever-changing challenges of modern life.

We continue to ensure that there is an enabling environment as we support the cause of young people.  It is becoming increasingly important that young people are equipped with cutting-edge academic and non-formal education, so that they are able to engage competently with the challenges that they may encounter anywhere in the world.

In order to achieve this, my Government provides the human resource and other support to extend the reach of the Award Programme to the young people across the country equipping them with the requisite life skills.

As part of delivering Government support to the young people, the youth of this country now enjoy a 30%advantage on all public procurement tenders. I am happy to note that this platform has led to many young people owning companies with some of them already tapping into foreign markets. This is an encouraging return on our investment in young people.

The Youth Enterprise Development Fund and The Uwezo Fund have provided opportunity for more young people to exemplify their entrepreneurial abilities. The net effect is that these young people are not only self-employed but are also contributing to wealth and job creation, and moving the country towards its goal of becoming a middle-income country.  Many of these youths work with the private sector.

Government appreciates the private sector and individuals who step forward to support national development including initiatives which focus on developing our young people.  Such partnerships will maximize on our limited resources and spread opportunities across the country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to note that the President’s Award-Kenya has taken up the administering of the Award Programme on the digital platform, which also offers a learning hub for young people and other key stakeholders.

I wish to acknowledge your efforts of being the first Award Programme in Africa to sign off participants on the digital platform. This is in line with the Government’s ambition of digitalizing its services. Government is investing heavily in the Information and Communication Technology Sector to accelerate interaction across various spheres of development.

Young people being techno savvy are at the forefront of embracing ICT and I encourage you to make good use of such existing opportunities. The one-stop shop ICT hubs being rolled out across the country known as Huduma Centres have brought Government services closer to the people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, let me tell you the story of my Pupils Rewarding Scheme (PURES), which mentor young people in leadership skills.  The young people from across the country have the opportunity to be guests at State House for a week where we take care of them, and mentor them.

They are also taken to visit Government institutions like the Parliament, Judiciary and Defense Headquarters so that they have a clear understanding of how the Government operates.

It is a way of demystifying these institutions and encourages ownership and national pride at an early stage in life. The country belongs to all of us and especially to young people. We need to prepare them sufficiently in advance to inherit it.

It is an important part of what we are working to achieve as Government. We want you, as young people, to be fully and well prepared for the leadership roles you must rightfully play when the time comes. I urge you to work hard and frame what you must become – successful young leaders. In my many interactions with young people, I see hope for a better Kenya. I urge you to give back to society.

Congratulations and I wish you all the best.

God bless you all.  Thank you.