Delegates: Gladdy Kahara, Rebecca Ndombi (23 years)
16. Ms. Kahara (Kenya), speaking as a youth delegate, said that young people represented the majority of Kenya’s population. The need to place youth concerns at the forefront in order for Kenya to achieve middle-income status was set out in its Medium Term Plan 2008-2012. With that aim in mind, Kenya was promoting human development through the active and inclusive participation of different social [*4*] groups, including youth, in decision-making and the prudent management of national resources.
17. Youth unemployment was an acknowledged problem in Kenya, and young people continued to experience poverty, limited opportunities in educationand technical training, and exposure to high levels of health and social risks. They also found it difficult to gain access to credit and influence the decision-making affecting their lives. Those disadvantages contributed to the slowing down of economies in developing countries and were hard to overcome given the global economic crisis and the competing demand for attention and resources.
18. The Ministry of Youth had set up on-the-job training to enable young people to access the jobs market, and the Government had developed enterprise funds for youth and women. There was a need to scale up vocational training for young people and special training for women, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups in order to enable them to participate in the labour market.
19. HIV/AIDS was a signification problem for youth in Kenya, who accounted for about 70 per cent of new infections. HIV/AIDS prevention was a part of the curriculum in primary and secondary schools, and nationwide awareness campaigns had been instituted. Although the prevalence rate had fallen between 2000 and 2012, educational efforts were often hampered through lack of resources, including teachers’ lack of time and appropriate training, as well as reluctance on the part of parents and other stakeholders to discuss the issues involved. Furthermore, young people were not sufficiently consulted on the content of programmes that targeted them.
20. Ms. Ndombi (Kenya), speaking as a youth delegate, emphasized the importance of quality education that would equip young people with the skills required in the labour market of the twenty-first century. Kenya had invested heavily in education but lacked the resources to fully fund a national system. The Government had also invested in social development, promoting respect for human rights and the participation of civil society, while increasing transparency and accountability. She called on the United Nations to help improve the lives of young people and to encourage their employment in less conventional sectors such as information technology, music, the performing arts and sports.
21. Information technology, the fastest growing sector in Kenya, was proving an effective tool for development, fostering the sharing of information and opportunities. Kenyan youth had embraced technology and had made significant contributions to technology-related programmes, although the spread of technology to rural areas was slow. Young people would use their drive and energy to lead the way in expanding opportunities for development. The inclusion of youth in decision-making that affected their future was essential to the creation of a harmonious society. Kenya appealed for partnerships to continue its people-centred approach to development.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/67/SR.3