Even with the current leadership, Kenya is still faced with quite a number of issues, these issues are still recurring and unfortunately will be in manifestos for parties hoping to win elections come August 2022.
In Kenya 25% of the Kenyan population comprises youths aged 18-34 years old, 43% of the population falls below the 15 year old age bracket. It is vital that young people play an equal role in decision making spaces and tables.
Ahead of 2022 August general elections, Aspirants and politicians have once again started to stream into our homes; playing with kids, helping mama mbogas cut mbogas, attending churches and helping us pray. They are not forgetting to takes selfies
Young people continue to face an array of issues, Some of the pressing issues that young people are facing is around health – reproductive health. Health is definitely wealth and it is paramount that political parties hold consultative forums to widely consult on pressing issues that young people, who are the majority population and voters at the moment in Kenya and agree on some of the desired changes. Young people still do not feel represented, For instance how many under 35 young people are appointed in public office? Are young people, youth groups equally engaged in policy making through public participation? Do I even need to mention AGPO, which young people continue to get frustrated about?
Young people are tired of bad leaders, Leaders who they only see within their estates, houses, shops after every five years when they come to re-promise and bring the aspect of elect me again to finish up on this road, but what did you do in the 5 years that we elected you? Politicians have access to power, resources, partners and information that they would use to improve their work and ensure better access of services, information and enjoyment of rights and freedoms as citizens of this great nation,
By now, we have seen so many political aspirants share posters and call themselves honorable, put up whatsapp groups and social media accounts as their start to drum up their support for votes. How do they translate their promises to actions? One of the opportunities is through political manifestos. But are political manifestos binding?
Most investments done by politicians including statements by aspirants is how they will build roads, create jobs, unfortunately health investment is not seen as a tangible product that can be spoken about by aspirants, as most citizens believe in seeing tangible things to believe that their resources are being used. Investment in health involves purchasing commodities like drugs, availing information in hospitals and in other public spaces, ensuring offline and online campaigns amongst other sort of “invisible” activities that need money but can not be seen by the public as tangible investments.
The public should comprehensively understand and learn that when it comes to health, the investments can be deemed as “invisible” The invisibilities of these investments and activities around reproductive health and health in general. For instance when you invest in buying drugs and availing platforms for health information, most of the times we don’t see the ripple effect and the effect of this. But, the effect of this, is that we have a healthier nation and a workforce that is able to work and achieve maximum objectives.
Unfortunately young people continue to face reproductive health issues that can be legislated and resourced. Most of these manifestos plans on health are just generic and very ambitious and don’t really reflect the ongoing issues that young people are going through kwa ground. Political manifestos should be inclusive and should relate to the needs of the citizens especially the adolescents and young people who are the current majority.
Sexual Reproductive health and rights youth Expert