President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Friday that the National Youth Service (NYS) has been repositioned as a crucial pillar of the government’s policy to enable youth to contribute more effectively to nation-building.
Since 2013, more than 114,568 servicemen and women have participated in national-interest programs that have had a good impact on the country’s socio-economic development, according to the President.
“For example, under the Youth Empowerment Programme, we were able to grade 557 kilometers of rural access roads to murram standard in various parts of the country; drill 68 boreholes and construct 197 water dams and 217 water pans; and construct 96 ablution blocks, 3 social halls, 7 model housing blocks, 7 clinics, and 8 police posts in various informal settlements in the country.”
“The Service has also established 696 youth savings and credit organizations, through which young people can get low-cost financing to launch micro and small businesses,” he added.
The Head of State addressed a crowd of 9,464 NYS recruits at the NYS Training College in Gilgil, Nakuru County, where he presided over the passing-out procession of 6773 soldiers and 2691 service women, including 45 people with disabilities.
President Kenyatta also stated that the NYS was involved in the revitalization of the country’s meter-gauge railway line, the control of the desert locust in 13 counties, and the planting of over one million tree seedlings in order to achieve a 10% national tree cover.
He noted that the change of NYS has resulted in other accomplishments, such as an increase in the number of people employed.
President Kenyatta stated, “This stratospheric growth in the number of recruits joining NYS, together with the enhanced levels of training introduced, has been essential in defending the socio-economic interests of Kenyan young as included in our development blueprints.”
Thousands of young people, most of whom would not have had the resources to obtain the skills and training offered at NYS, have benefited from institutional improvements, according to the President.
President Kenyatta also stated that the government has increased the incorporation of NYS graduates into the disciplined services as well as other public and commercial entities.
President Kenyatta said that his administration has achieved 2,649 job placements for NYS graduates in the current fiscal year.
“Of these, the Kenya Defence Forces are the most powerful.”
He expressed delight that the information management tracking system he introduced at the college last year has helped track servicemen and women from enlistment to paramilitary training, deployment to national service, enrolment in technical and vocational training, and job placement.
President Kenyatta continued, “I am delighted to see that this method has made it easier for the Service to process requests from potential employers whenever there are employment openings.”
To reposition NYS training institutions as centers of excellence that prepare graduates for the demands of a future where the digital economy will take center stage, he said courses like AI, robotics, the Internet of Things, 3D printing, genetic engineering, quantum computing, and nanotechnologies must be offered.
Prof. Margaret Kobia, CS of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, said that under President Kenyatta’s leadership, NYS has made a significant contribution to the country’s socio-economic development.
“Since taking office in 2013, and under your leadership, NYS has made significant contributions across the country and internationally. We have no doubt that you will depart New York State stronger than when you arrived “CS Kobia stated.
At the passing-out parade, which was also attended by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, among other key government officials, NYS Director-General Matilda Sakwa and College Commandant Nicholas Makhoha spoke.