President Uhuru Kenyatta has said reforms being undertaken in the National Youth Service (NYS) have ensured that the service is stronger and more effective in the delivery of its mandate.
The President said NYS has been able to overcome its past challenges and emerged to become an integral part of Kenya’s youth and national development including providing support for the realization of the Big 4 Agenda.
The Head of State commended the institution’s new governing council for strengthening management systems which have led to improved financial controls, oversight and supervision of the service.
“This has resulted in higher productivity, better efficiency and enhanced revenues; which, in turn, have allowed young recruits to both experience as well as give improved service delivery,” the President said.
President Kenyatta spoke when he presided over the passing-out parade of 11,730 recruits of the National Youth Service at their training college in Gilgil, Nakuru County.
The President commended the recruits for successfully undergoing the rigorous six months training and urged the new NYS leadership to ensure that the institute remains focused on the delivery of its mandate.
“I note with satisfaction the positive reports from the private sector, which validate our assurances to investors that NYS offers disciplined, dependable, skilled, competent and vibrant youth, whose work exhibits the highest standards of work ethic and commitment to duty,” the President said.
He congratulated the NYS management for partnering with other government agencies to establish the 2nd largest potato seeds production unit in Africa at the institution’s Tumaini field unit in Nyandarua County.
The Head of State said the project will enable Kenyan farmers to access certified seeds easily and at a reasonable price thus contributing towards the achievement of food security pillar of the Big 4 Agenda.
He called on the institute to take a more role in the national roll out of UHC especially the training of health cadets which is being administered by the Ministry of Health and AMREF.
The President therefore directed the Ministry of Health and the Department of Youth to ensure that NYS Community Health cadets undertake further training at Kenya Medical Training Colleges after serving for one year to improve on their skills
“To secure the gains made under this transformative programme on healthcare, today I direct the Ministries of Health and State Department for Youth, to ensure that once they have served for one year, these NYS Community Health cadets undertake further training at Kenya Medical Training Colleges (KMTC), based on their academic qualifications and areas of interest,” the President directed.
While acknowledging NYS management for heeding his directive to purchase local manufactured products for its servicemen and women in line with the policy to “Buy Kenya, Build Kenya”.
President Kenyatta noted that the NYS Textile Garments Training Institute has stitched over three hundred and fifty thousand pieces of uniform for disciplined services.
He said policy changes have enabled NYS to save money and generate nearly half a billion shillings in revenue since January 2019.
“I am happy to note the National Youth Service has heeded the Policy to “Buy Kenya, Build Kenya” by purchasing all the fabric and shoes used by the Service from local manufacturers,” the President noted.
The President reiterated government’s commitment to continue rolling out and supporting initiatives aimed at generating employment and wealth for the youth.
He said high quality and depth of feedback gotten from the youth as captured in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process underscores the need to directly involve them in nation building for their development and prosperity.