President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked the youth to take loans from the government affirmative action fund institutions to do business and create wealth and employment.
Kenyatta was speaking at the Kinoru Stadium in Meru County on Friday where he oversaw the issuance of cheques worth Sh46.3 million to several youth and women groups.
The funds were from the four national government affirmative funds agencies namely the Women Enterprise Development Fund, Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Uwezo Fund and National Government Affirmative Action Fund.
“When I took over the leadership of this country, we realized that to tackle the challenge of lack of jobs we needed to facilitate youth, women and people with disabilities to start income generating activities by providing them with funds in which no security is demanded from the beneficiaries,” said Kenyatta.
Kenyatta said a majority of the youth, women and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) could not raise any security for the loans and this became a hindrance for them to venture into business.
He pointed out that he wants to leave a legacy of a working nation where a majority, if not all citizens, are engaged in productive economic activities rather than have a nation of thieves and layabouts.
The president told the youth to shun the habit of accepting handouts from politicians as most of them are given with ill intent.
“Let me tell you there is nothing for free, someone will deceive you with small amounts of money to go and fight his opponent and later leave you to suffer.”
He added, “Let us learn to earn our own money and not allow ourselves to be used as pawns.”
Kenyatta called on those who have been given loans from the government affirmative action funds to pay back to enable others to access the same in order to sustain the interventions.
“We want to be known as a country of workers; where a majority of our people are engaged in small-scale business. It is in these ventures that we would be able to deal with the challenges of joblessness,” he said.
The President at the same time criticized some government institutions that want to withdraw their services from Huduma Centres. He said that through Huduma Centres the government had brought its services close to wananchi especially those in the rural areas.
“I have heard that some government departments want to withdraw their services from Huduma Centres. I know they intend to take us back. If you dare to withdraw your services from Huduma, it is you who will be withdrawn,” he warned.
Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Prof Margaret Kobia pledged her ministry’s unequivocal support for the President’s comprehensive agenda of empowering youth, women and PWDs in the country.