, MOMBASA, Kenya, Jun 11 – British High Commissioner to Kenya, Christian Turner, has said that tackling youth unemployment was a vital component in the battle against insecurity.
Speaking during a visit to Mombasa, Dr Turner drew the link between security and prosperity, and said that a community-centred approach was required to tackle the causes of radicalisation.
“Providing employment training and opportunities for Kenya’s youth will allow them to make a positive contribution to society, and help drive Kenyan growth and stability,” he said.
The High Commissioner was speaking at an awards ceremony held to recognise the achievements of graduates of the Mombasa County Youth Employment Programme (Kuza Project).
The event was also attended by Mombasa County Governor, Ali Hassan Joho. The UK, in collaboration with the Mombasa County Government, is supporting the economic empowerment of low-income youth in the County by contributing Sh740 million over three years to create 5,000 new jobs, and train close to 8,000 young people for roles in construction, maritime, manufacturing and waste management.
The UK is also helping to create the necessary environment to sustain new jobs, through a Sh10 billion contribution to the development of Mombasa Port.
Dr Turner’s comments echoed President Kenyatta’s recent Madaraka day speech, in which he instructed the government to work with civil-society groups on anti-radicalisation. These organisations are deeply rooted in the community and have the necessary links to the youth.
The High Commissioner also met with representatives from the tourist industry.
When asked about current UK travel advice to Kenya, Dr Turner said: “The UK would like nothing more than to be able to remove our travel advice for all parts of the country. The way to achieve this is to continue to work together to address the threat of terrorism. The threat is a shared one, and so must be the response.”
He added that the UK provides an extensive and ongoing programme of counter-terrorism assistance to the Kenyan Government which includes training, technical advice and supply of critical equipment.