Govt to promote youth, women, disabled interests

Kelvin Wanjohi 16:42 12/07/2013 The government has hired experts and planners to ensure that every ministry and government agency has programmes that will cater for the interests of youth, women and persons living with disability.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru said the move is part of government's plans to empower women and youth.

Waiguru intimated that empowering youth and women will enable the country achieve development in line with devolved governance.

30 per cent of govt tenders go to youth and women

She said policies and regulations have been drafted to ensure 30 per cent of all government tenders go to youth and women.

The Cabinet Secretary added that the government will secure certain tenders for women and youth noting that small tenders like supply of stationery and water will be awarded to the youth.

“One of the policies is on Public Finance Management (PFM) that will see to it that youth access government tenders easily,” she said.

She observed that the KES 6 billion fund that was set aside by government will not be issued through the youth enterprise fund, but will instead go through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Waiguru said the move will ensure that youth in remote areas get access to the funds without necessarily going through complicated procedures.

She added that they will use as systematic hybrid table banking forum to ensure the money gets to the right people for the right projects.

Waiguru noted that funds for youth and women will in the future be maintained through such framework to minimize corruption which she said has derailed development.

“One of the complaints regarding the Youth fund was the centralized procurement," she observed.

Waiguru noted that challenges experienced in accessing previous youth funds will be addressed, noting that a platform called UWEZO has been established to monitor the disbursement of funds.

UWEZO will promote transparency and accountability and will be headed by women and youth representatives,” she stated.

The Cabinet Secretary, who was speaking during a meeting with editors conveyed by the Ministry of Information Communications and Technology (ICT), urged youth in counties to link up with development centers so as to access funds for development projects.

She said the government is keen to address unemployment noting that many young people who have university education are yet to secure jobs.

Waiguru said her ministry is running a campaign to educate the youth on the fund and also help register them adding that a caravan campaign will be commissioned soon.

“We are also spearheading reforms and engaging with civil servants as we seek to support devolution,” she said.

Waiguru further revealed that they are holding dialogue with Governors regarding transfer of functions and payroll issues in a bid to provide leeway of working together.

“We are having open dialogue with Governors to see how the National government can transfer its functions to Counties and vice versa as we come to a mutual agreement," she added.

She called on the media to support devolution by informing and educating Kenyans on the benefits of devolved governance.

Information Communications Technology Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the government will work with counties in bid to promote use of ICT in service delivery.

He said integrating ICT in service delivery will be a quick step towards achieving development adding that youth should take advantage and venture into the sector.

“I want to encourage young people to use part of the funds they get from the government to venture into ICT projects,” said Matiang’i.

He reaffirmed the government's commitment to spearhead development through the use of InformationTechnology.

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