ABUJA, Nigeria, Jul 10 – The National Alliance (TNA) Chairman Johnson Sakaja was on Friday night honoured as the African Change Maker of the Year at the African Achievers Awards held in Abuja, Nigeria.
Sakaja was honoured for his role in transforming the lives of young people in Kenya through his various legislative initiatives.
In his acceptance speech, Sakaja dedicated the award to the continent’s youth saying they are the trustees of Africa’s posterity.
“Going round this continent, I have seen that the youth are ready to take up the mantle of leadership. I dedicate this award to the young people of this continent. The resilient hardworking who are not ready to give up,” Sakaja said.
He also said that he was dedicating the award to leaders who remain selfless and work hard to better the lives of those they serve.
“This is in recognition of your leadership skills and youth empowerment in Kenya. Your standing belief in the young generations and their potentials has made you a remarkable change maker,” the organisers said.
The award organisers said Sakaja had been selected for the honour as he had been instrumental in helping the country achieve legislation aimed at empowering the youth in Kenya.
Cited was the enactment of a law to implement the government’s policy of allocating 30 per cent of all government tenders to youth, women and persons with disabilities.
Sakaja also sponsored the National Employment Authority Act which aims to address unemployment in Kenya by ensuring qualified Kenyans have easy access to jobs.
The Act gives effect to Article 55(c) and 56(b) of the Constitution by providing a legal framework for the State to take affirmative measures to ensure youth and marginalised groups access employment and economic empowerment.
It establishes an Authority that will assume the functions of the National Employment Bureau whose mandate is to maintain a database for all jobless youth to facilitate their employment.
He handlers say he was also instrumental in ensuring that young people who paint graffiti on matatus did not lose their livelihood by defending the culture.
The first edition of the award was held in 2011 at Kings’ College, London where Archbishop Desmond Tutu was honoured.
Other previous recipients of AAA awards include former Malawi President Joyce Banda and African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.