May 3rd- 7th 2016: Three days of engagement, 174 delegates and a resolve to promote peace and become peace champions across the country.
In collaboration with other industry stakeholders, Ongoza hosted its fourth Annual Kenya National Youth Summit at Multimedia University, Nairobi Kenya. The summit aimed to promote active and responsible citizenship premised on national values, community identity and national cohesion. These were anchored on the United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDG) 8, 16, 16.7.
Over three days the youth delegates discussed county-based challenges to peace and the electoral process as well as strategies to mitigate those challenges. Underlying the discussions was the importance and relevance of youth economic empowerment.
While addressing the delegates at the summit, Hon. Robert Godec, the American Ambassador to Kenya, called on young people to take the lead role in ensuring a free, fair and peaceful election in 2017.
Similar view were echoed by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission Chairperson, Hon. Francis Ole Kaparo, who called on the youth to maintain peace and cohesion as a fundamental issue in the life of the nation.
Leading government agencies including the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance amongst others that support youth economic ventures in Kenya presented ways in which the youth could access funds and available opportunities.
Following the summit, the youth delegates created a number of social interaction groups on What’sApp such as “The Peace Ambassadors” and the “North Eastern Kenya Alliance”, to continue engagement and discussion preceding the summit.
“In the end we are all part of one tribe- the human tribe”, said Amb. Godec echoing the words of American President Obama to Kenyan youth in 2015 as he called on them to ensure peace during and after the coming general elections.
Other partners in the summit included the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA), Nation Media Group and Strathmore Business School.