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Covid-19 has pushed back the global youth agenda, Uhuru says – KBC

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The Coronavirus epidemic has temporarily pushed back the global agenda to ensure young people between the ages of 10 and 24 are in education, training or employment by 2030, President Kenyatta has said.

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The president noted that worldwide, more than 168 million schools have been closed for almost a year due to the closure of Covid-19.

“Young people have lost their jobs and lives and some have experienced personal risks such as teenage pregnancy and alcohol and drug abuse,” the President said.

The president spoke on Friday evening during a meeting of the Generation Unlimited (GenU) leadership council held near and attended by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo of Belgium, President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

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President Masisi and Prime Minister De Croo are new members of the GenU leadership council where President Kenyatta is a member with a strong voice for the youth agenda.

Gen U is a partnership that brings together youth, government, multilateral organizations, the private sector and civil society to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 United Nations Youth Strategy.

Despite the setbacks, President Kenyatta said the tragedy had inspired young people to be creative and added to the importance of GenU’s vision.

Citing the example of Mr Calvin Shikuku Odhiambo, winner of the 2020 Genu Youth Challenge from Kenya, President Kenyatta said the youth have shown incredible resilience and a desire to find a solution.

“He (Odhiambo) represents a generation of talented inventors in Kenya, which includes a group of 16 university students who designed air-conditioning systems in the country and were recognized as the UN People of 2020,” President Kenyatta said.

The president emphasized the need to give young people a chance, saying they have the key to recovery, resilience and a sustainable future based on the four streams of integration work for GenU, adding online and rural learning platforms, promoting entrepreneurship skills to help young people as transformers.

“The four working streams speak directly to the steps we need to take to help the world’s 1.8 billion young people recover and rebuild after Covid; and in the long run, enable them to be productive workers and citizens of the world,” President Kenyatta said.

He expressed satisfaction that the broader platform of GenU cooperation has enabled us to bring together public, private and youth partners to strengthen the coordination and impact of many youth programs in Kenya.

In this regard, the President opted for his administration’s partnership with Unicef ​​ITU’s Giga program which helps connect schools to the internet, a project that has provided one million devices to Kenyan schools.

“But now we need to expand the link to reach every child and ensure good learning through digital platforms. I invite partners to join us in this expansion,” he said.

At the same time, the President spoke on the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a platform for which Kenya and the United Kingdom want to raise $ 5 billion to help children around the world access education.

“This campaign will culminate in the GPE Finance Summit to be held later in the UK from July 28 to 29.

“I invite you to join us for the Summit and use the GenU platform to mobilize resources to help countries think and rebuild education systems for a better world,” President Kenyatta said.

For his part, President Masisi welcomed his addition to the GenU governing body saying he would use his skills and networks to promote the interests of young people around the world.

Prime Minister De Croo said Covid-19 has exacerbated global inequality and called on the private sector to help the government invest more in education to enable young people to get better jobs and develop their entrepreneurial potential.

President Kenyatta joined the meeting with the Chief of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua and CS I Joe Mucheru.

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