NYC Access To Information (ATI) Implementation
Sauti Ya Vijana
National Youth Council (NYC) is a State Corporation in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs which came into being through the enactment of the NYC Act 2009 as the official voice of the youth. The mandate of the council is to advocate for youth opportunities to associate, be represented and participate in the Political, Social, Economic and other spheres of life.
Our activities, mainly touching on the Youth, revolve around:
- Advocacy and Lobbying
- Policy development
Before engaging the youth, NYC tracks the calendar of the Parliament and Senate for participation and inclusion of youth and hence bridges the gap between the youth and such institutions by making their voices heard in the law-making process. This has been enshrined in the KYDP 2019 documentation, which has been popularized through our Uzalendo Programme.
NYC strives to build capacity to meaningfully engage and offer insight on government structures at both national and international levels. For instance, the following activities summarize how we have engaged Youth:
- Following a public participation engagement with disabled youth from Shauri Moyo, Nairobi, on 20th May 2020, NYC submitted a memorandum to Parliament on the Representation of Special Interest Group Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019, which included the recommendations of the youth that were present.
- Following engagement with youth serving organisations, NYC submitted to Parliament a memorandum on the Pandemic Response Management Bill, 2020, with various key recommendations from the youth including; incorporation of a youth representative in the National and County committees to respond to pandemics, training of youth and establishment of a national database of youth, amongst others.
- The Referendum Bill, 2020 (National Assembly Bills No. 7 of 2020) Bill sought to establish the legal framework for holding referenda in Kenya. NYC submitted to Parliament a memorandum on the Referendum Bill, which factored in the youth in the formulation of the key recommendations including, amongst others, every youth aged 18 years and above should be allowed to register and vote in the referendum regardless whether s/he has been issued with a National Identity Card.
- NYC submitted to the Cabinet Secretary Treasury, through the Biashara Fund Taskforce, a memorandum on the Public Finance Management (Biashara Kenya Fund) Regulations, 2020, which seek the merger of Uwezo Fund, the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, and the Women Enterprise Fund. It is proposed that the merged fund should be titled the Biashara Fund. An example of the various key recommendations in the NYC memorandum was that at least one youth should be appointed to the Advisory Board of Biashara Fund to represent and articulate the interests, needs and experiences of youth engaged in business, MSMEs not owned by the youth, women or persons with disability should not be allowed to access the Biashara Fund, amongst others.
- In collaboration with the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, the Secretariat of the National Youth Council participated in drafting of the National Youth Council Elections Guidelines 2020, which sought to resolve the gaps that arising in the Guidelines on the Election of Youth Representatives to the National Youth Council, 2011. It is expected that the National Youth Council elections will be held immediately upon gazettement of the National Youth Council Elections Guidelines 2020.
We have given the Youth an opportunity to talk to us through our Inter and Intra generational Programme dubbed ‘Sawazisha Gumzo’, where they sit down and discuss matters youth and how they can work cohesively with the government and private sectors in incorporating their efforts towards enhancing national values.
NYC remains committed to working with State Corporations, Private Industrial Partners, YSOs, the Youth and the Public, towards empowering the Kenyan Youth as they are our greatest resource and have the potential to turn our continent into a frontier of growth innovation and opportunities.
- Research on Youth issues
- Intergenerational dialogues through NYC program dubbed ‘Sawazisha Gumzo’
- Leadership and governance training
- Youth nomination to decision making bodies
- Youth mobilization for national and international events and/or activities
- Support policy development to ensure inclusion of the Youth agenda
- County Youth Empowerment forums (sports, talent shows, cultural festival, exchange programs)
- Joint activities with stakeholders
- Championing for youth-friendly policies
- Involving youth to co-create engagements amongst other youth
- Creating platforms for participation and inclusion of youth in policy dialogues on need basis on the legislation of bills
- Civic engagement
In support of a National Green Economy to strategy, NYC has participated in tree planting to achieve a 10% forest cover in 2022 in various regions and planted more than 200,000 trees cumulatively in Counties like Machakos, Kwale, Rift-Valley, Mombasa, and Kilifi. Other regions that have benefited from this initiative are North-Rift, South-Rift and Western regions..
In line with the NYC’s mandate outlined in the Strategic Plan 2017/2018 – 2021/2022, we aim at further amplifying its core mandate by aligning its activities to other key development initiatives of the Country including and not limited to greening Kenya planting 200,000 trees every year. In essence, we have purchased trees from the youth in all the regions we have planted these trees.
Involvement in planned NYC programmes and activities simultaneously have ultimately expanded the base of civically-engaged youth, developed their leadership skills among a diverse sector of that base (across gender, race, nationality, and educational background) and served as a holistic developmental program for them. We view our volunteers as members of a socially, economically, politically informed and civically engaged “base.”
Apart from enhancing food productivity, NYC has come up with an industrial programme that has been very instrumental in providing opportunities for income generation. Through this initiative, NYC has been able to engage the youth, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic in the manufacture of liquid hand wash and distribution of merchandise received from various partners including Chandaria Industries, Kenya Pipeline Company, Mombasa County Government and other well-wishers.
We play a key role in carrying out research on Youth issues to inform policy, programming and strategic interventions related to youth both in the public and the private sector.