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The youth have a big role to play in creating sustainable food supply chains through agriculture and technology

Through Equity’s TVET scholarships, 98 scholars have undertaken or are currently pursuing agriculture related technical courses from various institutions within the country while another 150 Equity Leaders Program (ELP) scholars are pursing almost similar undergraduate degrees both locally and internationally.

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Tree planting exercise.PHOTO/Courtesy.

In 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the UN General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth that every 12th  August be declared International Youth Day. The Assembly recommended that public information activities be organized to support the Day as a way to promote better awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth, adopted by the General Assembly in 1995.

This year, the theme for International Youth Day was “Transforming Food Systems through Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, and development agencies and relevant authorities are keen on rallying the world to recognize that the success of such a global effort will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people.

It has been acknowledged that there is a need for inclusive support mechanisms that ensure youth continue to amplify efforts collectively and individually to restore the planet and protect life, while integrating biodiversity in the transformation of food systems.

With the world’s population expected to increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, it has become recognized by numerous stakeholders that simply producing a larger volume of healthier food more sustainably will not only ensure human and planetary wellbeing but also is a key strategy for poverty reduction; social inclusion; health care; biodiversity conservation; and climate change mitigation.

According to a UNDP study, youth unemployment in Kenya is higher than the overall national unemployment rate. While the latter is around 10% it goes as high as 35% for youth, depending on the age group. 80% of the currently 2.3 million unemployed are young people between the ages of 15 and 34 years.

Agriculture remains the backbone of Kenya’s economy directly contributing 24% of the annual GDP and another 27% indirect contribution (ASDS, 2010 – 2020). The sector is therefore critical in creating employment and uplifting the living standards of the Kenyan people.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries National Youth in Agribusiness Strategy Report (2017-2021); there are a couple of strategic issues which have contributed to a low number of youths taking interest in agricultural activities.

These issues include negative perception about agricultural activities; limited knowledge and information; limited participation of youth in agricultural innovations and research and limited access to financial services among others.

However, to salvage the situation, there are a handful of Kenyan corporate organizations which have taken the mandate to rally youths to invest in the agriculture value chain and take interest in agricultural activities by providing them with the necessary support they need.

For instance, Equity Group Foundation through their Education and Leadership Development Pillar and the Food and Agriculture pillar has invested in training and mentoring youth thus encouraging them to take agriculture related courses, invest in the agriculture value chain and innovate within the same space.

Through Equity’s TVET scholarships, 98 scholars have undertaken or are currently pursuing agriculture related technical courses from various institutions within the country while another 150 Equity Leaders Program (ELP) scholars are pursing almost similar undergraduate degrees both locally and internationally.

Kenya, which is many times, hit by natural disasters in form of drought, floods and locust infestation often finds itself with a shortage of food supply with many people and livestock suffering from the same.

In fact, according to the recent drought update report by the Kenya Red Cross, nearly 2 million people in 12 counties face server food insecurity following prolonged drought. This has resulted in malnutrition and long-distance travel in search of diminishing resources. Such issues call for innovation in how we store food and how to plant and grow food amidst the harsh climatic conditions.

This can only be done when agriculture stakeholders come together and work towards creating sustainable food supply chains.

Governments ought to invest in research and in creating policies and systems that promote innovation particularly among the youth, education stakeholders need to demystify the myths around agriculture related courses and show young people that agriculture remains essential in the success of economies and finally banks and other financing partners need to find ways of financing agriculture startups and think tanks to promote agriculture entrepreneurship and technology innovations.

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Industrialist Shah receives 2021 Philanthropy Lifetime Award

The East Africa Philanthropy Network seeks to create awareness and a culture of philanthropy while inspiring emerging philanthropy leaders.

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Industrialist and philanthropist Mr Hirji Shah

Industrialist and philanthropist Mr Hirji Shah is the recipient of this year’s prestigious Philanthropy Lifetime Award at the East Africa Philanthropy Awards.

The award honours visionary leaders and philanthropists throughout the community doing extraordinary things to make East Africa a better place for the growth and development of Philanthropy.

Mr Shah serves in the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) Council as a representative of the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE).

He is the chairperson of the Planning research, outreach and policy (PROP) Committee of the Council and a member of Human resource administration and finance (HRAF).

KNQA in a statement said it is proud to be associated with Mr Shah and that Mr Shah has over years promoted and grown a culture of giving in the society,

“The objective of the recognition goes beyond motivating individuals and organizations but also aims to highlight best practices and creativity in local philanthropy, “said Mr Evans Okinyi in his congratulation message to Mr Shah.

Mr Shah is a director of several companies, including Mabati Rolling Mills Limited, Comcraft Kenya Limited, Kaluworks Limited, Booth Extrusions Limited, Booth Fire Fighting Limited, Bahari Forwarders Limited, Bahari Insurance Brokers Limited, Kifaru Investments Limited, Juhudi Investments Limited and Juhudi Distributors Limited.

The East Africa Philanthropy Network seeks to create awareness and a culture of philanthropy while inspiring emerging philanthropy leaders.

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Nikama Ndrama: How pilot cop rescued minors from abductor

Should you have any information that you would wish to share with us anonymously please dial our toll free line 0800722203. USIOGOPE!

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Chief Inspector Justine Ouya

Two girls aged 3 and 4 were last evening rescued by a police officer from a man who had abducted them from their home and was ferrying them to an unknown destination.

The innocent angels had been lured from their home as they played by one Jackson Mutinda, 31, who was arrested at a shell petrol station along Langata road, as he walked with the girls to a yet to be established location.

Chief Inspector Justine Ouya, an aircraft engineer at the National Police Service Airwing, had just landed from a troops resupply mission and was walking along Langata road when she came across the man holding the two girls by their hands. They were walking with the minors towards Karen.

“After observing him and the little girls briefly, her intuition as a police officer coupled with her motherly instincts led her to be suspicious,” said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in a Facebook post.

She immediately stopped the man and interrogated him. She also spoke to the minors and established that the man was not their father as he had alleged.

Chief Inspector Ouya immediately restrained the man and raised the duty officer based at Wilson Airport, who responded with a contingent of officers instantly.

After interrogating the abductor, it was discovered that he had lured the little angels from their home in Muthurwa, promising to buy them a soda. The officers immediately set off for Muthurwa, in search of the parents to the minors.

After a few hours, the distraught parents of the angels identified as Judy Nyakio and Teresia Njeri were finally traced, desperately looking for their missing girls.

As they were reunited with their beautiful angels, the two parents could not hold back tears of joy thanking God for the miracle of seeing their babies alive and the officers for bringing them back home.

“The suspect is currently in custody at Langata Police Station, being processed for arraignment on Child Trafficking charges,” stated the DCI.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations thanks C.I Ouya for going beyond the call of duty and rescuing the little angels from the jaws of their captor.

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ASALs counties declare formation of UPYA Movement ahead of 2022 polls

The UPYA movement will also be used as a tool to unite residents from ASAL areas to articulate a common political position and objectives for the 2022 elections, negotiate for greater socio-economic investment and development in the region.

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Leaders from ASALs counties addressing journalists in Naivasha.PHOTO/Pristone Mambili.

Leaders from Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) of Garissa, Isiolo, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir have declared to rally behind new political formation UPYA Movement.

The leaders led by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani met in Naivasha on Saturday to reflect together on the future of their region to give it a voice and political direction at the national level.

They raised concerns on the effects of the ongoing drought in ASALs
gravely affecting lives and livelihoods in the region.

“We appreciate the quick response directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta declaring the drought a national emergency, thereby mobilizing local and foreign response to respond to the dire situation” they stated.

While noting with concern that despite ASAL areas constituting a vast land mass with a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and culturally diverse population, the leaders argued that has suffered from political and socio-economic marginalisation over the years without a unified voice, and only being regarded as a ‘swing vote’ region.

It is for these reasons that the leaders vowed to use UPYA Movement to ensure unity in the area and that their voice is heard.

“Having learnt from our past mistakes, the time has come to chart a brave and brighter future for the ASAL regions which remain Kenya’s most promising.We pledge our loyalty to the current government as led by His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and with whom we are working closely to resolve the immediate challenges affecting our regions.We declare that the UPYA movement will be the political platform at the national level speaking on behalf of the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Kenya. As an umbrella political platform, UPYA supports the revitalisation of 2-3 political parties in the region to guarantee the right of our people to participate in the 2022 general election” the said.

Under the new political formation,the leaders vowed to institutionalise and operationalise as as a viable coalition by establishing a functional governance structure from the national to the grassroots across the region.

The UPYA movement will also be used as a tool to unite residents from ASAL areas to articulate a common political position and objectives for the 2022 elections, negotiate for greater socio-economic investment and development in the region.

On the mass voter registration that the IEBC is planning to roll out in October 2021, the leaders called on IEBC to  assure the people of Northern Kenya that it has mechanisms to ensure every eligible citizen in the region is able to register despite the on-going drought.

The leaders also revealed that they wl work with like-minded leaders to unite towards a common agenda for the continued development of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and the Republic of Kenya at large.

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