, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 27 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged young people to maintain high standards in their service to the country.
The President said Kenya needs public servants, professionals and politicians who hate the culture of low standards.
“Kenya needs public servants, professionals and politicians who have no time for mediocrity,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State was speaking today at State house, Nairobi, when he presided over the President’s Award-Kenya Gold Award presentation ceremony. The President’s Award-Kenya is a self-development program available to young people countrywide. It equips the youth with positive life skills to enable them participate in nation building and boost their patriotism.
At today’s ceremony, some 766 young people from different schools, colleges and universities received Gold Award certificates while 10 alumni received life membership certificates.
President Kenyatta commended those who won the awards for their diligence and determination.
“When some of your elders have given way to laxity – and even to mediocrity – it fills me with hope to see that you have rejected their ways,” President Kenyatta said.
The President asked the gold awardees to carry the message that the way of the President’s Award Scheme for more than 50 years has been to produce men and women who serve Kenya with distinction.
“Distinction is about dedication to efficient and effective service delivery, it is about devotion to our values and to national unity; it is about selflessness — serving others; ultimately, it is about improving the lives of those around us,” the President said.
He challenged them to champion national unity, saying “you know that each of your companions deserves to be treated the same, wherever they come from and regardless of their tribe or religion”.
During the occasion, President Kenyatta also launched the President’s Award-Kenya Foundation and cut a cake to mark the award scheme’s 50th anniversary.
Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki commended President Kenyatta for spearheading initiatives geared towards empowering the youth.
The Cabinet Secretary noted that recently, under the Commonwealth Secretariat, Kenya received an award for having the largest leap in terms of growth under the youth development index that placed the country in the most premium position within the Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Am happy to note that the initiatives that you have put in place are beginning to pay,” the Cabinet Secretary said.
She said the President’s availability for the young people also signified the special place he has for them.
The President’s Award Executive Director Nellie Munala thanked the private sector for working with the scheme to promote youth development.
She expressed satisfaction that the program has succeeded in inculcating values in young people that are important for the growth of society, “especially at this time when the country is keen to find solutions to challenges regarding integrity and patriotism.”
“The story we get from young people across the country is that social cohesion, patriotism, fairness and integrity are all possible if we expose children and the youth to experiences that challenge their inner self to live and do right,” Ms Munala said.