Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has challenged the youth of Africa to take up leadership roles so that they can drive Africa’s socio-economic development.
The DP said the youth should be the drivers of Africa’s march into the future.
He was speaking when he delivered a keynote address at the Youthconnekt Africa Summit that is underway in Kigali, Rwanda.
The annual event, which has attracted 9000 youth to Kigali this year alone, will be hosted in Nairobi in 2023.
“You are the future of this continent. You have what it takes to take this continent to the next level,” said the DP.
“This is a creative age, it is a tech age and innovation age. You have the ideas, ” the DP added as he challenged the youth to take up leadership positions in their countries.
The DP said the youth make up 60 per cent of Africa and they have no excuse not to occupy the leadership positions they want.
He said Kenya has already made strides in giving space to the youth in leadership.
He said during the last general election, the people of Kenya indicated in a strong statement that they are ready for leadership by the young.
He said more than 33 per cent of Members of Parliament in Kenya are young people and they have a responsibility to push the youth agenda from inside the government.
DP Gachagua introduced 12 young MPs including Bomet Women Representative Linet Chepkorir ‘Toto’ who is just 24 years old to the participants of the summit at KB Arena in Kigali.
The DP urged African leaders to encourage the youth to take up their rightful positions in leadership.
He commended President Paul Kagame of Rwanda for being a mentor to the youth of Africa and thanked him for hosting the Youthconnekt Africa Summit for ten consecutive years.
The DP said Kenya wants to support Rwanda by hosting the 2023 edition of the summit.
On his part, President Kagame said the summit has become a powerhouse for youth empowerment.
He said young people are equal partners in Africa’s development agenda and must be given the space to contribute to the growth of the continent.
He said the world is undergoing rapid changes and Africa would be left behind if its young people are not treated as equal stakeholders.
President Kagame called on the youth to have purpose because, he said, “hard work, even if it is smart to work, without purpose is not fulfilling.”
The summit was also addressed by President Hage Geingob of Namibia and President Macky Sall of Sierra Leone.
“The young people of Africa are more interconnected than at any other time in our history,” he said as he challenged the youth to be represented at all decision-making levels in order to create “the Africa we want.”
The MPs accompanying the DP include Hon John Paul Mwirigi, Hon Vincent Kawaya, Hon Joseph Lolmegit, Hon Ken Aramat, Hon Karungo Thangwa, Hon Pamela Njoki, Hon Mohamed Ali, Hon Reuben Kiborek, Hon Patrick Munene. The delegation also includes Hon Silvanus Osoro (Chief Whip) and Hon Ndindi Nyoro.
The theme of the summit is Resilient Youth, Resilient Africa. The summit is used as a hub for connecting Africa’s youth to boost innovation and investment.