NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that Kenya will increase its national budget allocation to education to reach 30 percent, making it among the highest in Africa.
In a video address to thousands of African youths attending the “Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100” in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday evening, President Kenyatta said his administration will go beyond the global expectation of 20 percent national budget allocation to education.
“I want to go one step further, and this year I pledge, to you my fellow global citizens, that in Kenya our education budget will be closer to 30 per cent of our total budget, making it probably the highest on the African continent,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta who was in September this year endorsed as the global Champion of the Young People’s Agenda during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly, has been at the forefront in pushing for reforms that will deliver quality education in Kenya including the scrapping of national examination fees for primary and secondary school candidates.
As the UN Global Champion for Young People’s Agenda, President Kenyatta has the responsibility of pushing for the placement of every young person into quality education, training or employment by 2030.
The Global Citizen Festival in South Africa was planned to coincide with celebrations to mark 100 years since the birth of former South African President and global peace icon Nelson Mandela who died in 2013 as well as push for the full implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Quality Education, the topic covered by President Kenyatta in his address, is goal number four of the 17 SDGs set by the UN General Assembly in 2015 geared towards transforming the world by 2030.
Wawira Njiru, the founder of Food for Education – a Ruiru based outfit that provides lunch to vulnerable school children every school day to end classroom hunger, improve school attendance and performance – was recognised for her outstanding leadership and support for education during the festival.
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and the Prime Minister of Mozambique Carlos Agostinho do Rosário were among African leaders who addressed the event.
President Kagame, who is also the chairman of the African Union, called for a global commitment to continue building on the legacy of former South African President Nelson Mandela by ensuring good nutrition for the children of Africa and eliminating preventable diseases that threaten Africa’s potential.