, MOMBASA, Kenya, Jan 6 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday held a question and answer session with over 600 young people from the Coast region at State House, Mombasa.
At the meeting, President Kenyatta urged the youth to work with the government in finding solutions to problems facing them and the country.
He said his administration was confident that working closely with the youth would resolve most of the challenges facing Kenya.
“Let us not be a nation that only complains but also one that actually tackles and offers solutions to problems,” President Kenyatta said.
The 610 young men and women were from Mombasa, Lamu, Kilifi, Tana River, Kwale and Taita-Taveta, the six counties of the Coast region.
President Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretaries responded to questions raised by the youth, ranging from the 30 percent allocation of all government procurement to the youth, women and people with disability to unemployment, training and the fight against drug and substance abuse in the region.
The Head of State said data on government procurement for youth, women and people with disability will be published in the newspapers. This will show how much each department and ministry are facilitating the programme, the President said.
“Those who will not have met the 30 percent target will answer for it,” he said.
President Kenyatta also directed that young people doing excellent work in the community and volunteers be identified for national honours.
He told an official in his office that the youth category should be created in the roll of honour this year, instructing him to work with County Commissioners that in identifying the young people who stand out in what they do.
The President also said any Kenyan who has any information on corruption should send it to his office and “there will be no victimisation whatsoever”.
On issuance of national Identity cards, President Kenyatta ordered a team to be formed to ensure the youth who are of age get the important document so that harassment by security agencies end.
The Head of State also discussed the progress the Government has made in addressing the land problem in the region.
“This is the first government to give the answer to the land question. We have dealt with the Lamu issues where more than titles deeds for more than 350,000 acres irregularly acquired were cancelled; progress at the Waitiki farm in Mombasa is good and in Kilifi County 2000 title deeds are ready for issuance,” President Kenyatta said.
He also assured the youth that the first talent academy will be built in Mombasa to nurture and develop those gifted in various areas. Other centres will be built in other counties.
In the war on drugs, the President said rehabilitation centres will be built in Mombasa and Lamu.
“But the war needs to go to the drug barons. That way, we can be sure that the war will be won,” the President said.
Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the government has lined up various programmes to empower the youth. She urged them seek that information so as to benefit from the programmes.
Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery advised the youth against radicalisation and terrorism.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i urged the youth to take advantage of scholarships provided by various organisations to pursue higher education. He cited China, which offered 1000 scholarships last year, as one of the countries that has been at the forefront in providing scholarships to Kenyans through his ministry.
Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala disclosed that the Ministry of Mining has trained and given mining licences to 2,400 young people in Taita-Taveta County.