MTWAPA, Kenya, Jul 18 – President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday said creating jobs for the youth in coastal counties is a priority for the Jubilee Government.
He said the expansion of infrastructure is part of the government’s plan to expand the economy to enable the growth of more business that will create more jobs.
President Kenyatta – who spoke when he addressed several rallies in Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa counties – said the government’s plan to construct new ports will create thousands of jobs for the youth.
He cited the expansion of the Port of Mombasa as one of the initiatives aimed at boosting the country’s position as a net exporter of locally goods manufactured to create jobs for the youth.
The President said contrary to allegations made by the Opposition, the Jubilee Government intends to create jobs for all Kenyans by opening up industrial parks across the country where goods are manufactured and transported to the Port of Mombasa for export.
“We want Mombasa to handle more of our locally manufactured goods than being purely a port where we just receive goods for our people to consume,” said President Kenyatta.
Besides the ongoing expansion works at the port of Mombasa, President Kenyatta said, the Jubilee Government is also constructing Lamu Port while plans are underway to set up a new port at Shimoni.
“We are constructing another port in Shimoni and we will be sending customs and immigration officials to help our people conduct legal business. In March 2018, the first ship will dock at the Lamu port, all these projects are aimed at creating jobs and improving the livelihoods of our people,” said the President in Ukunda.
The new ports will create thousands of jobs and majority of the first people to be employed will be locals from the Coast region.
The President also spoke on the ongoing construction of the Dongo Kundu bypass where the government intends to put up an industrial park to boost its job creation efforts of the benefit of Coast residents.
In addition to the huge investments the government has made in various sectors of the economy to lift the lives of Kenyans, President Kenyatta’s administration has also unveiled a graduate internship programme – an ambitious plan that will guarantee at least 100,000 new jobs for youth every year.
The paid graduate internship programme will see all graduates from universities and technical institutes absorbed by Government and the private sector for a period of 12 to 18 months.
“This is one of the programmes that will expand opportunities for the young people in addition to our ongoing youth empowerment initiatives,” said President Kenyatta.
Kenyan universities produce about 50,000 graduates annually with Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and national polytechnics graduating a similar number. The internship programme will significantly boost the President’s current one million jobs a year agenda.
The government will fund part of the programme directly or through tax breaks and other measures in a programme to be implemented in close collaboration with the private sector.
The government has already got buy-in for the programme from business following a meeting with the umbrella Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) this month.
The government is already taking up its other youth jobs initiative known as “Ajira”, which looks to avail a million jobs to Kenyans online. Already 50,000 youth have signed up and are being trained and made aware of opportunities available to them. Kenya has the fastest Internet speeds in Africa.
Speaking at Ukunda, President Kenyatta said the Jubilee Government does not engage in blame games but has provided solutions for Kenyans.
He said the issuing of title deeds is part of the action plan to eradicate poverty by empowering Kenyans to create more wealth.
“We have not come here to blame people, we have not come here to incite people,” said the President.
Speaking on Opposition claims that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is not ready for elections, President Kenyatta said Kenyans want elections on August 8 and nothing less.
He said all Kenyans are ready for the elections and the opposition is dishonest in claiming that the IEBC does not have a backup system.
“We warned the opposition not to interfere with the preparations for elections by IEBC and they cannot today claim that the commission is not ready,” said the President.
In Mtwapa, President Kenyatta was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto and other Jubilee leaders from the Coast region including Jubilee aspirants for the August polls, Gideon Mung’aro (Governor) and Ken Nyale (Senator) among others.