Dear President Uhuru Kenyatta , Convert The Youths From Wageearners To Capital Owners Free From Poverty Of Dignity

By Alexander Opicho - Lodwar, Kenya
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Alexander Opicho

Dear Mr. President , the number of youths in Kenya killed violently by the police in Kenya is now soaring but your promise to fight poverty in Kenya is so encouraging . And the most encouraging was your vision unveiled on 12th December 2020. In your official speech you vowed to convert the youths from the lumpen wretchedness of being wage earners to ownership of capital with total focus on fighting poverty of dignity. Dear Mr. President, it was so revolutionary of you that you have identified inability of the youths from poor families in Kenya to access government services .Indeed , this is the bane of poverty of dignity that actually harrows the youth of Kenya. It can be argued with certitude that your organic focus on the economic challenges of the youths in Kenya is very nonconventional of you, indeed it is a rare art of political leadership worth a careful study.

Mr. President, when you identified in your speech that boda boda sector will be the primary platform and entrepreneurial model on which economic liberation of Kenya's youths is to be based it was also the same time you invited pasta of patriotic concerns from loyal Kenyans and warriors that are committed to the course of poverty fighting .

Mr President , some of the patriotic concerns under this regard are about giving priority to domestic or local manufacturing of bicycles by installing about or above twenty plants out side Nairobi before condemning our treasurable youths of Kenya to the curse of sempiternal buying and riding of Chinese made bicycles. In fact involving the Kenyan youths in trendy bicycle manufacturing technology is more revolutionary than engaging them as wholesome bicycle riders also known as boda boda taxi riding . Similarly, on the aspect of fighting poverty of dignity - it is readily discernible that a local bicycle assembler will be more dignified than a boda boda bicycle rider when looking for government services from any public office.

Mr. President, other concerns are about access to technical education and University education. This is under the light of respected entrepreneurial phenomenology that , an educated businessman is more productive than a semi -literate one. That money is not absolute answer to challenges of human life. Thus, step number one in fighting poverty among the Kenyan youths is universal access to technical education but not universal access to boda boda business. The driving factor under this argument is that more than sixty percent of rural and urban poor families in Kenya of today are not able to access and finance post secondary school or technical education . It is also obvious that blending education with adventure in entrepreneurship produces a good welfare society.

Mr. President , it is noteable that your charismatic leadership on the pan-Africanism front has diluted our national sense and duty to protect our domestic jobs. Kenyan boundaries are too porous to the throngs of unskilled youths without capital from our neighbouring country flocking into Kenya. During last year, some university level academic researches in Kenya had to show that forty percent of Kenya's boda boda sector is carried out by foreign nationals from Uganda, Burundi, Congo,Tanzania, Ethiopia and as well as nationals from as far as Malawi. Thus, Kenya's efforts to modernize the future of boda boda sector will ultimately attract more unskilled young people to leave their countries only to throng into Kenya for quick money making. This means that Kenya's social policy to fight unemployment among Kenyan youths through entrepreneurship will be under heavy economic burden caused by external factors of social dumbing and unfair economic preying on Kenya. Mr. President, the only optimum solution to this menace is to make our boundaries to be impermeable to seepages of social dumbing. Dear Mr. President , it is logical to accede to divinity in an economic logic that Pan-Africanism does not mean that we leave our domestic jobs unprotected against foreign encroachment.

Mr. President, boda boda business will not convert the youths into dignified capital owners if our agricultural and forestry sectors are not properly modernized. This is also the position taken by respected econmists like P. M. Todaro, Josef Stglitz, Josef Allois Schumpeter, Thandike Mkandawire Simon Kuznet and Milton Friedman. Hence, my unblemished patriotic concern that Mr President you have to consider confining greater percentage of Kenya's youths in agriculture than in boda boda industry. That you have to consider encouraging and providing incentives to the youths in Kenya to use their knowledge in ICT to invest in small scale agricultural business. However, this has to be done under awareness of the prevailing mish - mash of challenges to the economic model of Kenya's youths in agriculture like the anti-youth land ownership, crude culture, low pay to agricultural workers, defective marketing infrastructure for farm produce, poor state of financial infrastructure to the young farmers, trumpeting for agricultural marketing but not producer cooperative movements controlled by the youths, neglect and discrimination of women from commercial farming, government neglect of branding Kenya's agriculture sector and finally, bad politics in relationship to incorporated selling of farm produce. Fortunately, all these can be corrected through a good government policy. Otherwise, Mr.President, if you only focuse on modernizing the industrial and urban based boda boda sector, it will end up attracting the youths from rural sector to urban centers and hence rural agricultural sector will be left with defective labour.

Mr. President, most of the youths in Kenya are not employed because they are too selective. They are not accepting to pick the available jobs. This is so because the domineering attitude smong the youths in Kenya is to make easy money from dignified jobs. Currently, a typical Kenyan youth is not focused on productivity at work place, but instead is focused on aggressive accumulation of cash through work place related wheel dealing. If Kenyan youths had wanted jobs, then Kenya would not have lost its forty percent of hotel,night-guarding and domestic babysitter jobs to Ugandan nationals informally living and working in Kenya.

Mr. President, we must also encourage young people to court the culture of Intrapranuership in their work place. Intrapranuership is where an employee develops new ideas and shares them with the employer for implementation within the employer's organization. This culture is so fundamental on organizational growth and development. But if young people keep on leaving their jobs to go for self-improvement through personal business then this will finally yield an aggregate effect of frustrating overall economic performance. Thank you.

Alexander Opicho writes from Lodwar, Kenya
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