Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has been awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in Uganda.
Ruto cited his achievements when receiving the award saying young people should not understate their power to transform the continent by the old-dated notion that their time would come tomorrow.
“In making the decision to grant me this award, the organisers of this event make reference to the contributions I have been privileged to make in my country, specifically in the development and transformation of our young people,” he said.
He said the youth must be hungry for a better future if they are to make it in life and turn around the society.
Ruto noted that the recognition represented the idea that Africa must learn to celebrate and validate her own “rather than wait for external approval of others”.
The DP said there is a need for Africa’s education system to be reformed to lean towards science, technology and technical training for youths to unlock their potential.
“This view is informed by the fact that while at school, I marvelled at the pedagogy that emphasised information of little relevance to Africa’s economic development,” he said.
For what shall it profit a young person to know when Vasco da Gama reached Malindi or when Henry Morton Stanley discovered the mouth of the Congo River, he wondered, unless such a youth is acquainted with the science of crop production or electricity generation and the art of design?
Driven by the desire to make the education system relevant to the needs of the society, Ruto said for the last six years, the government has put more emphasis on the “forgotten, ignored and underfunded technical training” for Kenya’s industrial take off.
“Today, we boast of 11 national polytechnics, 125 vocational colleges and 67 others at different stages of development. From the current 180,000 students in technical colleges, our plan is to expand enrolment to over three million in the next five years.”
He challenged youths to go out and seize opportunities to be part of those who make history.
The Young Achievers Award founded by two entrepreneurs Awel Uwihanganye and Ivan Serwano Kyambadde in 2009 recognises outstanding youth in Uganda that have excelled in various realms such as the arts, entrepreneurship, journalism, philanthropy, innovation and sports among others.