NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – Energy, climate change, and growing jobs for youth will be the focus of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Zambia on Tuesday.
During the one day visit, the Head of State will speak at the annual meeting of the continent’s premier financial institution – the Africa Development Bank (AfDB).
According to a statement from State House President Kenyatta will lead a panel discussion on “The Path to Universal Access to energy in Africa by 2025” drawing heavily from his own agenda to light up 70 percent of Kenya’s homes by the end of 2017.
“Over the last few years, Kenya has scaled up its investment in renewable energy and last year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance ranked Kenya among the top 10 countries in the world that have made significant investments in renewable energy,” the statement pointed out.
“The President recognises that investing in sustainable energy sources is, among other things, key to protecting Kenya and it’s people from the adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation.” it stated.
President Kenyatta will also lead a second panel discussion on “Jobs for African Youth: From Demographic dividend to Economic Dividend” at 7 pm.
“He will give his views on turning the African youth bulge into economic opportunity, and is expected to focus on mitigating the challenges hindering youth from participating effectively in Africa’s social, economic and political arenas,” the statement indicated.
It further stated that President Kenyatta remains unwavering in his resolve to economically empower youth and government initiatives seeking to uplift youth.
“Across the continent, young people remain Africa’s biggest asset. With the youth population poised to double to more than 800 million by 2050, a productive and innovative young workforce can potentially drive rapid economic growth and development in the coming decades,” it said.
At the moment, youth unemployment is a shared challenge for African countries. Some two-thirds of Africa’s youth are unemployed or vulnerably employed, a situation all stakeholders recognise as untenable and a threat to the stability and success of the continent.
The Jubilee administration’s heavy investment in tertiary education is also preparing youth to effectively engage the labour market.
The President has also taken steps to create a favourable business climate that in turn opens up opportunities for all Kenyans, including youth, and the successes of those various initiatives are evident in the fact that the ease of doing business in Kenyan has improved.
President Kenyatta will fly home immediately after this second panel discussion on the youth.
On Thursday, he will formally open the United Nations Environment Assembly at Gigiri, Nairobi.