Order, Hon. Members! I must congratulate the membership that today we have started with a quorum on a Wednesday morning. So, business will proceed. What is it, Hon. Muthomi?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have a Petition that I am requesting to present now. It was due this afternoon but due to unavoidable circumstances, I may not be in on time to present it then.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to present this Petition. It is a Petition on behalf of the family of the late Eric Muthomi Mugiri on work injury benefit claim for their late son Erick Muthomi. I, the undersigned, on behalf of the family of the late Eric Muthomi Mugiri, draw the attention of the House to the following: THAT, in the year 2007, the late Eric Muthomi Mugiri, of Personal No.90280/2007/102455 was appointed as a Police Constable in the National Police Service Commission on permanent and pensionable basis. THAT, on 31st January 2009 while in the line of duty, Mr. Eric Mugiri died of injuries sustained at the infamous Sachangwan Petrol Tanker fire accident. THAT, following the death of the officer and in line with existing policies, the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services computed his work benefit claim on 30th June 2011, the matter having been considered as claim number WIBA/MSPAIS/131 amounting to Kshs1,974,000. THAT, to date, the family has not received any compensation as stipulated in the Work Injury Benefit Act No. 3 of 2007. THAT, efforts to resolve the matter with the relevant bodies/agencies have been futile. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
THAT, the issues in respect of which this Petition is made are not pending before any court of law, constitutional or statutory body. Therefore, your humble petitioners pray that the National Assembly through the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare: (a) Intervenes to ensure that the family of Eric Muthomi Mugiri is fully compensated for the loss of their son, who served as a General Service Unit officer and died in line of duty serving this country; and (b) makes any other order(s) it deems fit in the circumstances of the petitioners. And your petitioners will every pray.
Member for Chuka/IgambaNg’ombe, before I commit that Petition to any Committee or open to anybody to speak, can I confirm beyond doubt that in that particular one you have the Speaker’s approval? I would want to see it.
This means you have the Speaker’s permission on this one. The only issue is that it was meant to be presented in the afternoon. You have fairly ambushed the Chair, but we will proceed. First, let me see if there are any Members who want to speak to this particular one. Any Member that I see on the intervention slot, I will consider that they might be interested. Hon. Justice Kemei.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity. I want to support the Petition by our good friend and colleague. It touches on members of the disciplined forces. There should be procedures and processes by which members of the disciplined forces who serve this nation get compensation in the event that they get hurt or pass away while on duty. I urge the Committee that apart from investigating this Petition, it also considers the other cases that are similar to this particular one.
Let us have Hon. Rasso.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Petition before the National Assembly is a necessary one. The Government must perform its duties. If a serving police officer is on duty and then in the course of discharging his or her duties an accident occurs, the family should not unnecessarily suffer the consequences of the officer’s accident. What happened is not the individual officer’s or his family’s making. This is a serious Petition and so we need to expedite it.
Member for Kiminini.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. It is very unfortunate that somebody who died in the line of duty has not been compensated up to now. At times like these when people cannot afford to put food on the table there are others who are eating nawengine wanameza mate. There is this issue of value of time in terms of money---
You are completely out of order, Hon. Wamalwa, to mix the languages. I am not so interested in whatever else you are saying. The mixture of languages is against the Standing Orders. Once you start with English you will definitely end with English. So, proceed in English, which is the language I know you are well versed in now that you are a professor who has taught in some of our universities.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. On Hon. Muthomi’s Petition, there are so many of such incidents going on. It is very unfortunate that an officer who The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
died in the line of duty has not been compensated up to now. We passed an insurance law whereby we were so strict when it comes to timelines of payment. In case of these delays, we need to take into consideration the time value of money. A shilling today is not the same shilling a month to come. It is very unfortunate for this family. We are calling upon the relevant Committee - in this case I think it is Benjamin Langat’s Committee - to move with speed so that the family is compensated immediately. He was a breadwinner. If there is further delay, that particular agency must be forced to take into consideration the time value of money so that interest is allowed to accrue on the compensation. This will go a long way in helping the family.
Let us have Hon. Dawood.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. While I concur with Hon. Njuki on this Petition, there is a Petition I brought to this House more than six months ago for the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security whose Chairman is Hon. Kamama. I can see him present in this Chamber. However, six months down the road, my Petition concerning payment of two AP officers has never been dealt with. I was wondering if I could get a reply so that I can know what is happening. Apparently, petitions are just petitions and nothing more. I think Petitions have become a talk-shop. I do not know if Hon. Kamama is listening.
Let me give the last one to Hon. Maanzo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Hon. Muthoni’s Petition is very important. There are many officers who perish in the line of duty, especially the police. I have several cases from Makueni Constituency whereby we are following up on the compensation claims by several widows. The Committee now needs to come up with a standard way so that there are timelines. If a police officer or any other officer dies on duty, within a month or two, their families should have been paid instead of them moving around looking for help. You can imagine a situation whereby a widow who has children in school is forced to come to Nairobi at the national Treasury to look for compensation. Some of them have never set foot in Nairobi before.
We need to have a system and money set aside. That has happened already because this Parliament has approved a lot of money to that department. This will reduce the suffering of these families.
Okay. I will now give the Floor to the Member for Nakuru Town East as I grapple on whether we should place it before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security or the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare. There is the issue of benefit here and the issue of the fact that this officer was a member of the Police Service which falls under Hon. Kamama’s Committee. In due course, we will make a decision on which Committee we should place this matter.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. First of all, the Petition by Hon. Njuki is very important. Under the Jubilee Government, insurance has been taken seriously within the police reforms and currently, all police officers have insurance policies. Now that this matter has come, the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security should deal with it.
I would like to take exception to what Hon. Dawood has just said. We, as the Committee on Implementation, have sent our Chair to the Liaison Committee. Committees should fast-track Petitions within the timelines that have been set under our Standing Orders. That is important for The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
us so that the family can get answers. The Committee on Implementation has taken up many Petitions that have not been handled by Committees. Through the Liaison Committee, we would like to request the Chairpersons of those Committees to tell us what the problem is. They need to fast-track the Petitions that are pending before their Committees.
Hon. Members, having made some consultations, I realised that Hon. Muthomi Njuki was interested in his Petition going to the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare. However, I rule that it goes before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security for the basic reason that this was a serving officer before he passed on. Therefore, that would be the more relevant Committee to deal with the matter. That should not stop the membership of the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Services from taking interest in it. I urge Hon. Kamama to expedite some of these things. You have heard the concerns by the Member for Imenti North, Hon. Dawood. He has made a complaint that you are handling issues at a slow pace. Since you have a lot in your hands, you probably need to move faster and handle some of these matters.
The Petition is, therefore, committed to the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security.
Is Hon. Mwaura in the House? This is your Motion, proceed.
Unfortunately when Members change positions, it is very difficult to know whether they are in the House or not. Most of the time, you sit directly opposite where you have sat today.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion:-
THAT, aware that there are many talents amongst the youth of this country; having noted that these talents have been severally displayed through various inventions and innovations by the youth in platforms such as the Science Congress and the Annual Youth Innovation Week; concerned, that most of these discoveries do not go beyond making sensational newspaper and electronic media stories; noting that most of these innovations are aimed at addressing the problems that afflict us as Kenyans on a daily basis; further concerned that there is inadequate enabling legislation and administrative measures to support these innovations; cognisant of the fact that the Kenya Vision 2030 seeks to make our country an industrialised middle-income economy in the next 14 years; aware of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
the immense potential for wealth creation and job opportunities that such innovations would generate if well-developed and commercialised; also recognising that our imports are well in excess of Kshs1.3 trillion, a gap that would be narrowed if we had our own local production, this House urges the Government to support youth innovations by creating an innovation fund and a national incubation system, among other measures.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am very much moved by the plight of my fellow young people in relation to the great ideas that I have come across as I interact with them. I am reminded of people like Evans Wadongo, who was the first in this country to develop a solar lamp that he sought to produce en masse so that it can assist homesteads that have no electricity. This young man, Evans Wadongo, faced a lot of challenges. As I speak, much as we saw him being interviewed and celebrated, we have not seen him going forward for the establishment of an industry that would solve the problem of electricity by using sunlight, but also create wealth and employment for our youth in this country. His story is not the only one. We know of another young man who I have come across called George Ouma. He has developed innovations and applications that would really help the country going forward. The last time I met him, he was going in for an interview at Citizen
and nothing much has come out of it.
Another young man called Febrin Asiach has innovated very nice cooking jikos that would save the energies of our mothers, communities and help in deforestation. All these innovations will help the country to move forward. These are not the only young people. They are many and I could mention them. Most of us always go to the Annual Youth Innovation Week when we have time and we see wonderful ideas that if given an opportunity, would transform this society. Most Members will remember their days in high school when they used to attend the Science Congress. They would do wonderful presentations. My good friend, Irungu Kangáta, was telling me how he had made some invention of some kind of a car that was some form of jalopy. The good thing about it is that we need to nurture and encourage our young people. The new industries that are being developed world over are not in the traditional form. The new industries that are making people millionaires and billionaires overnight are new, very novel and different. Therefore, what is it that we are doing in this country to help our young people to ensure that they not just spend their days wallowing, tarmacking and looking for white collar jobs? Our economy is largely agriculture-based. We are also a transit economy because of our vantage point which is the port of Mombasa. These things are being challenged by the fact that now we have a competing railway which is going through Tanzania. We now have a pipeline that may go through Djibouti. So, our vantage point is at risk. With regard to agriculture, because of our poor land tenure system, we have decimated our land to the point that it has become unviable in many of our rural areas. Because of our inheritance system, we have people ending up in quarter acres of land and yet those are their homesteads. I can cite Kiambu, Kisii and Vihiga counties where we basically have rural slums. We need to have a paradigm shift. We need to develop a new way of doing things. The only way we can do so is by looking at the new technology and investing in our young people because they are made of fine clay. They have fine brains. Recently Mark Zuckerberg visited our country. He is a young man at the university who is very rich. He came here dressed down, but he is one of the most influential individuals. All of us here are using his innovation to communicate to our constituents and other people who we The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
would want to be close to because politics is the art of communication. This young man, maybe, does not own even an acre of land. Today we communicate a lot on WhatsApp, an innovation that was made by a young man in America who used to go for food rations and soup somewhere. In fact, that is where he signed his contract. This tells us that around us we have young people who have nobel ideas and so we must make Kenya the land of the possible. We have to move away from our traditional economy which emphasizes on land, labour and capital. We have got to move to total factor productivity where we also invest in the human resource and the brains of our young people. When I look around, I do not think we have made much progress. Yes, there have been attempts but they have been hijacked by Government bureaucracies and inherent inefficiencies as to discourage the very ideas that if commercialized would move our economy forward.
Today we are buying a lot of materials from China, which has strategically positioned itself as the factory of the world. It is interesting because some of the things that are produced there could be comfortably produced here. It is very amazing to realise that eggs imported from South Africa cost much less here in Nairobi simply because of the supply chain management inefficiencies within our agri-business regime. These are things that we can address through legislation, resource allocation and other administrative measures that will move the country forward.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we need to encourage our youth. When I listen to them, they are complaining of the fact that when they come up with innovations they do not have funds to propagate those innovations. We are not talking about colossal amounts of money. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of shillings or a million or two that would help a young person turn his idea into a viable prototype. As you know very well, the challenge of innovation is that we have moved from invention because you just conglomerate a set of ideas to create a new product. This is because a lot has been advanced. If you look at the pattern regime of this country, how many patterns do we have in this country? If they exist, are they just on paper? Our youth lack mentorship. They do not know who to go to. I know we have established institutions like the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI). However the problem with NACOSTI is that we have populated it with academics, that is, people who have PhDs. Those are theorists and they have never invented or innovated anything. However, they are there by virtue of their academic credentials and so they reproduce themselves. They over-analyse and over-theorize issues.
We politicians have learnt one thing. There is too much talk. We now need action and something that we can put our hands. The lack of mentorship is a serious challenge to our young people in relation to advancing their dreams. The other challenge is that the young innovators do not have entrepreneurial training skills and exposure. They do not see themselves as businessmen. More often than not, we have grand ideas but we do not know how to make money out of those ideas. The idea of entrepreneurship and the kind of training that we have is what you could easily call, “Arm-Chair entrepreneurial analysis.” This is where some theorists would sit and just think through issues as if they are happening in an ideal situation. In the academia, 90 per cent is an “A” but in real life 40 per cent may be good enough. In fact, a car is only 20 per cent efficient.
So, we need some re-thinking of our entrepreneurial training. It is not just enough for somebody to regurgitate some yellow notes somewhere just because they are competent and they are speaking a lot of fluent English. We need to ensure that our innovators are given the basics of how to establish startups. The statistics that we have currently show that over 400,000 startups The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
die in their first three years of establishment and that is not something that we should celebrate. This happens usually not because of lack of capital but poor investment, diversion of resources and other external factors that would be curtailed if there was proper mentorship and entrepreneurship. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the other challenge that we have is the issue of poor marketing strategies. While this country has been praised for the success in co-operative movement, but that is largely around traditional agricultural production lines. We need to look at forward and backward chain supply management so that young people are empowered to do proper marketing of their products. You find that most of these resources are wasted; there is a lot of middlemanship and eventually they are taken away. In fact, innovation is about contracting where because of lack of resources or inadequate resources thereof, young people are swindled of their inventions and innovations because they do not know how to negotiate and market their ideas. Sometimes they just want to stay with their ideas thinking that those ideas originate from them, but that is not helping them. So, the issue of marketing strategies is very important. The other challenge that we have is a hectic patenting problem – There are so many papers to be filled and so many agencies to be dealt with. We have the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI); the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) and NACOSTI. Some of them are duplicitous because they do the same job, time and over again. You do not know who you are supposed to go to. So, people get frustrated in the process and, of course, without belabouring the point, the usual element of corruption is present. This is because Government services in this country have been monetized and commercialised. An officer who is supposed to give you his or her service on a daily basis, is supposed to be given some bribe to do the very same thing that he is earning a salary for. Those are the things that we need to address. We do not have a coherent legislation regime. If at all that exists then it is archaic. They do not speak to the realities of the current market regime. They do not speak to the new technologies. They do not speak to the shift of the economy going forward.
As Parliament, we owe it to our young people to ensure that we provide them with an avenue where they can become rich and an avenue where they can be independent. We should provide them with an avenue where they can be self employed and contribute to national development. My Motion seeks to create an innovation fund. One would ask: “Why an innovation fund?” It is because we have so many other funds that are not speaking to the realities of young innovators. Young innovators must be seen as such; as people who have noble ideas, people who are experimenting with their brains, people who have some sense of imagination that would go ahead to solve problems that bedevil our people on a daily basis. This innovation fund should be tied around the issue of research. It should be well capacitated. It should also be very well distributed. The challenges we currently have with the Youth Enterprise Development Fund is that you require a lot of paperwork just to get some Kshs50,000. It does not encourage young people to come with fresh ideas when they do not have collateral. What collateral would an innovator of a battery charger, for example, have? These are poor people. So, we need to address some of these things by having a regime that is encouraging. This has been done elsewhere. Within India, you just need to show your certificates as evidence of what you have studied and the innovation you have and then you are given startup capital. Then you are monitored. That is why in the field of Information Technology (IT), for example, India has progressed. That is why India is today the hospital of the world. We must ask ourselves what The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
we really are as a country. What is it that we are known for? We know that even in the field of athletics, our young people sometimes just end up being poor. They are not even assisted to manage their resources. We also need to ensure that we have technology-driven innovation, so that we have incubation centres. Currently, there are very few incubation centres where young people can meet, discuss about their ideas and explore them. I know about the iHub and the Chandaria Incubation Centre at Kenyatta University, but those are few and far in-between. We need to establish them in each and every university. We need to ensure that our universities are known as centres of excellence of particular disciplines and not just offering every other course they may want to do because it is a money making venture. We need to ensure we reform the idea. An example is the 30 under 30 entrepreneurs under the Forbes Africa’s title. We just name them then they disappear into thin air. We need to ensure that we follow them up. We need to ensure that we quantify, we project and cost the potential of job creation of these ideas. So, I will not belabour the point further. I have argued in the interest of young people. Let us consider them. Let us give them an opportunity. Let us look at what already exists, so that we can make a difference in this 11th Parliament or in the future so that our young people can move forward and help our country grow. I beg to move and call upon Hon. Gatobu to second.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I also wish to thank Hon. Mwaura. I rise to second this important Motion. First, I thank God for this wonderful opportunity because when I came to Parliament four years ago, I felt this was a calling especially for the children in my village and all over Kenya where I had spent seven years as a volunteer teacher. It is also very important for my fellow young Kenyans, for whom if we did something different as a country, we can give them many opportunities that we never had a chance to enjoy in our beloved country. I want to thank Hon. Mwaura for moving this very important Motion. I believe with these excellent ideas, we can change our dear country. I also want to thank my colleagues at the Kenya Youth Parliamentarians’ Association (KYPA) for the great ideas they have brought to this House. When we first moved the Motion asking the Government to support orphaned children in our schools, we thought it was just a talk show in this Parliament, but I thank the Government because it followed up on the implementation of the Motion. We now have the Presidential Bursary Scheme in our constituencies where we receive Kshs1.4 million in every constituency to support orphans. I believe the Motion that we are discussing today, a few years to come if not a few months, we will see its fruits and then we will see how we can take our country further. I sincerely thank Hon. Mwaura. I wish to emphasise that we must get away from the thinking of “let entrepreneurs do the work” because in all the countries you go to across the world, especially capitalist countries like ours, the thinking is that if we just support business systems, somehow, unemployment will go away. If we just support the free market, then unemployment would be solved. Unless the Government comes in to solve the challenges that we have of poverty and unemployment, all these problems will remain in our society for many years to come. History has taught us that maybe, the worst economic crisis we have had on our planet is the Great Depression of 1930s. The only way we got out of that was through the American The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Government through the New Deal to support youth employment. This is not just history. Even in our country, you remember the recession of 2008 when the current President, Hon. Uhuru, was the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance. We got out of that through empowering the local systems to create employment through the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP). This is what we are seeking, as legislators, to entrench in our laws. The Government should provide a structured way that seeks to create employment and empower young people who have ideas. We should get it out of our minds that empowering the youth is just favouring the young people of Kenya. Empowering the youth through the establishment of innovation centres that we are speaking of today, and making the National Youth Service (NYS) that has been troubled with many challenges an institution that works well, the ideas that we develop in the incubation centres will be for the good of our country. As leaders, let us not always think that the things that we do to empower the youth is just favouring them. Actually, we do a great service to our country through empowering the youth. Last week, I had the privilege of being the chief guest at the Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) Entrepreneurship Week. I was shocked to see the number of ideas our young people have. But you do not expect a youth, who has just graduated from the university with a great idea of how to make an electronic industry, to risk taking a loan from a bank or the Youth Enterprise Fund on an industry that he or she is not sure will work. Therefore, through such incubation centres, as we are proposing in this Motion, we can have entrepreneurs transfer the risk to the Government. The Government is the largest institution everywhere in the world. It is the largest corporate body you can ever do business with. Therefore, it is the institution that can only bear the risk that our young entrepreneurs have. We do not have the machinery, as young entrepreneurs, to do market surveys across the world. We do not have the machinery to do research on the markets that we want to venture into, but we have the ideas. Young Kenyans have great ideas. We can only harness the potential of our country through having a structure in which we can harness these ideas and develop them from just ideas to powerful institutions or industries that can empower our youth. So, I am in strong support of this Motion knowing that if we have innovation centres where we can develop the ideas that we have among our young people, we can do much. Hon. Mwaura has given a very long list of what we use today, applications like
and Facebook . Our young people have many great ideas. As the Member of Parliament for Buuri, I have seen it work practically. The Jubilee Government initiated the StimaMtaani project and took electricity to areas which were not connected to power. Let us not think of innovation or youth empowerment in the structure of software development and the big things that we see in newspapers. It can happen in the small villages that we think of. I went to school in a very small village called Machaka, a rural slum somewhere in Buuri. All along, I kept thinking what we can do to empower the youth of Machaka. When the Government came up with Stima Mtaani, it connected about 3,000 homes in Machaka Village in partnership with the Buuri CDF without the villagers paying even a single cent. When the Managing Director (MD) of the Kenya Power Company came to launch the project, the villagers were so amazed that we could connect 3,000 homes to electricity without them paying anything. We started an innovation centre at Machaka where we train the youth on ICT, simple skills like beauty and hairdressing. Out of that small step in the small village in the rural slum of Machaka, right now, two barbers who serve in the Parliamentary Service Commission barber shop are from the village of Machaka. I believe through incubation centres and youth empowerment strategies, The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
we can develop as a nation. There is so much energy in our youths. Our youth have so many ideas. There is so much strength in our youth that if we tap into it, we can take Kenya to the next level and make it a great country. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker and my colleagues, we rise in strength and in support of this Motion. I also encourage Hon. Mwaura to move it even into a Bill. We have done so much on youth empowerment. I wish to thank Hon. Sakaja, who moved the National Employment Authority Bill. I also wish to thank Hon. Jomo, who is also a Member of JYPA and who moved the Banking Act (Amendment) Bill that now makes it possible for Kenyans to access cheaper loans. Young Kenyans across this country even if we do not have a structure as Government to empower their ideas, can walk into a bank and get money at a low interest rate to develop their ideas. I wish to thank the Government as well. I have mentioned that we benefited as Buuri Constituency from the electrification project. Let us move all these loose ideas that we have from just ideas into a structured way of empowering our young people. The National Employment Authority Bill also caters for young Kenyans who innovate, but who also seek employment. At the end of the day, we cannot all be entrepreneurs or innovators. Some of the youths are more comfortable working in a structured institution that has been established by another corporation or entrepreneur. I believe this is the way to go. The world history has taught us so. I mentioned about what the richest country in the world did to get out the New Deal through structures like the Tennessee Valley Authority and they employed millions of young Americans to put them into work and stimulate economic growth. In our country, through the Economic Stimulus Programme of 2008, we created a lot of employment around fish farming and construction. Through that, we lifted this country from the economic recession of 2008 to a large economic growth in 2009. Therefore, I believe that through innovation centres, we will support young Kenyans who have ideas. Let us appreciate this idea because it is a great asset. Let us not look at ideas as assets in terms of money, steel, concrete and what we can see. Let us see ideas as great assets that can be used to empower our country. In the same breadth, I have moved an amendment Bill that seeks to have the Government commit 10 per cent of its normal revenue every financial year to the ICDC so that it can help to set up strategic industries. These industries can only be set up through ideas that are generated by the youth. What we are seeing around our country today is a product of what other countries have done for their citizens. We have very large Chinese construction companies in this country. We think they are individuals’ ventures, but they are not. It was an individual who had an idea, a Chinese, who thought that he could establish a good construction company that can crisscross the world. Those are the large Chinese companies that we see today. Why can we not give a chance to young Kenyans or any Kenyan who has an idea? We should empower them and transfer the risk from that small innovator who does not know how to go along the way, to the Government. Let the Government take the idea, develop it and we set aside enough capital to transform these ideas into industries. I beg to second. Thank you and God bless Kenya.
Hon. Members, I will start with Hon. Ore. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity. From the outset, I support the Motion. We know that the youth of today are leaders of tomorrow. The youth comprise a large population of this country and the work force. It is important that we support and nurture them especially when they come up with innovations. Unfortunately, as Hon. Mwaura has clearly stated, they are not able to realise their dreams. As legislators, it is incumbent upon us to make sure that there are conducive legislations to enable them to realise their dreams and to take this nation to greater heights in the realisation of our Vision 2030. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is important to know that there are many talented youth out there, not only in urban areas, but also in rural areas. As we create this fund, it is important to come up with a system to search and identify these talents. We should establish centres where we can nurture the talents that are identified from schools, science congresses and annual innovation weeks. It is also important that these youths are linked to companies where they would be supported to realise their dreams. As they do this, they can get jobs and funding to realise their dreams. I support the Motion. A lot of money is going to waste through corruption and other avenues. We need to use this money for our youth. This money should be used to support the youth innovations for them to realise their dreams. Instead of nurturing the youth to learn how to be corrupt and getting billions of shillings in weeks and months, they can work using their brains and their hands. If we support them, we will have a corrupt-free country.
We will hear Hon. Wanjiku Muhia.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I was the first one to come to this House this morning, having looked at the Order Paper and having found this Motion on the Order Paper. In that regard, I want to thank Hon. Mwaura for moving the Motion and the Member for Buuri, for seconding it very sufficiently. From the outset, I support the Motion. I wish to point out two or three issues. First, I want to show a survey by the US Census Bureau of 2002 which showed that small business administration employ more than 50 per cent of private workforce which generate more than half of their Gross Domestic Product ( GDP). This is also a principal source of new jobs in the US. Principally, we know that some time back in Kenya, we had polytechnics which unfortunately or fortunately were converted to universities like the Kenya Polytechnic, Mombasa Polytechnic and many others. Most young people were able to equip themselves with technical and innovative skills from the technical education that was offered in polytechnics. If this fund was set aside, even though we may not have these polytechnics, the entrepreneurship centres will equip the youth with entrepreneurship education and through their innovation, we may change this country to financial freedom. Today, as politicians, we are bothered all over. It has come to the notice of every aspirant that it is hard for the youth to live without coming out of the streets. You go around the streets as a Member of Parliament and the youth are saying that they have not seen you. Even when you are standing there, they will still say that they have not seen you until sometimes you have to part with something, so that they can say that they have seen you. This simply says that our youth lack financial freedom. They have no income. They are idle. Once they are equipped with finances through a structured manner, they can be self-reliant and they can have financial freedom. With financial freedom, no politician will be giving the youth Kshs100 to vote one way or the other in future. In that regard, the country will stand a better chance to have better leaders The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
because the leaders will not have come from financial muscles. The leaders will go and sell the best ideas to our youth and they shall be elected based on ideologies. The issue of security is worrying in this country. Why do we have so many youth turning to radicalisation? It comes from idleness. They have finished school, they are desperate and the mode of employment they find easily is learning through the internet what is happening. For this reason, we shall also escape, as a country, from the security threat that faces Kenya today through terrorism. We also need taxes to continue building our country. Our country is no longer in the 1970s. We need good infrastructure, good hospitals and water. We need our lives and the lives of our children to be improved. It is only a family with a proper income that can improve the lives of its members. It is this income that is taxed for the Government to raise money to build the infrastructure. With those few remarks, I would not fail to say that young people living with disabilities will also benefit from this fund. Therefore, I support. I thank Hon. Mwaura and the team.
I think Members are being as brief as is convenient for the rest of them, which is very good. I am going to give an opportunity to Hon. Maanzo and I hope you will go by the spirit we have had this morning.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. From the outset, I want to thank Hon. Mwaura. In fact, I was thinking along the same lines with him when this Motion was first presented in the House. This is the right thing to do. Incubation centres exist in this country. Kenyatta University is hosting an incubation centre where youth are trying innovations. This incubation centre was first an initiative of Chris Kirubi, a serious businessman in this country who has been working with over 10,000 youth. In fact, his businesses thrive mainly because of very innovative young people that he hires. Kenyatta University students and other young people are involved in a lot of innovations. When they were looking for help from this House, they were brought to me by a senior politician who, when he listened to them, thought Parliament should do something. They have come up with something called block chain technology, also commonly known as bitcoins, which is a new innovation in the world. Strange enough, Kenyans are leading in this and no one is investing in it other than foreigners. In fact, the incubation centre that we have is being financed by foreign companies and a few individuals locally. In fact, they are not very serious about it. Block chain technology, which is an innovation of young people, can be used for security purposes to deal with terrorism. It can also be used to make electronic money. This is a development which has become very contentious because whoever came up with bitcoins somewhere in Japan, his identity is not known today and nobody knows where he disappeared to. This is what Kenyans are researching on. Kenya is very fertile for research on this because of M-Pesa . Kenya is the best success story about M-Pesa the world over and other countries are slowly copying us. The sort of things our young people are doing here, there is a likelihood of being swindled by multinationals and bigger industries. It is a way of job creation. Electronic money and bitcoins are being advanced by our ICT Ministry. I introduced these young people to the CS and they have programmes which are running, so that we can have this sort of innovation. It has been tried elsewhere like in the US. Governments and central banks have been very keen. We need to catch up as a country and lead. If there is one thing the Government has tried to do well, it is to support innovation through the ICT Ministry where we have very active young people. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I want to support Hon. Mwaura’s idea of establishing a fund. It is long overdue and the young people should be able to access it. I have worked with the Ministry in charge of the youth before and I know the challenges of the Youth Fund and other funds the Government has availed for the youth. To access such funds is a big problem. We need to have a serious and easier system of an innovation fund and a national incubation system. It is only being done by Kenyatta University and we need other universities to do it. I want to support the Motion and urge Members to support it. When the matters of bitcoins and other new innovations come to this House, we should support them.
Let us hear Hon. Mwinga Chea, Member for Kaloleni.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity. I wish to support this Motion. As I proceed, I equally thank Hon. Isaac Mwaura for having introduced the Motion and, of course, his great submissions on this very important aspect. In my support of the Motion, we must be alive to the fact that the State, under Article 55 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, is mandated to offer affirmative action programmes that will see the youth participate in the economic sphere of this nation. It has been stated before that if the youth are supported, we will obviously have a situation where employment will be created and the youth will equally be self-reliant. What is most important in this Motion is that we have seen ideas being generated by our youth. As has been stated, when all of us were in secondary school, we were called upon to participate in Science Congress. With the support of our teachers, we would have come up with very excellent ideas on how some things were supposed to be done.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, what saddens me is that immediately one exits school, these ideas are basically washed away and nothing comes out of them. We have seen many people attending the science congress, which is a very important activity. But because we do not have a way of nurturing and ensuring that these ideas are realised, we run the risk of them being stolen, developed elsewhere and brought back into this country in different forms.
I wish to support the innovation fund. As it has been stated, this is a fund that is long overdue. We need to have a situation where if one comes up with a particular idea, he is able to access funds so that he can develop it. What we have seen in this country is that the Government has not invested much in research. That is why some things are not going well.
These innovations will not only create employment for our youth but will also make our lives easier. As it has been mentioned by Hon. Mwaura, all these innovations ranging from M-Pesa to other things have actually made our lives simple. You can imagine how difficult it was several years ago for you to transact business while in Nairobi and you really wanted to help somebody who was probably ailing and needed some treatment elsewhere. So, this is very important. I agree with what the Seconder has just said that there is need for this Motion to be developed further so that it becomes a Bill. This will ensure that it becomes law at the end of the day so that some of these things can be realised easily.
All in all, this is a very noble idea whose time has come. I support the Motion. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity. Hon. Mwaura is a good man when he is not leading those men in black. This is a good Motion. It is good to the extent that we live in a competitive world. To be competitive, it is important that The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
we harness the energy of the youth and their mental agility. This will enable our economy to grow and take our country to the next level.
The centrepiece of Vision 2030 is technology. This is science based. If we have to be an industrialised country or a middle income country by 2030, it simply means that our youth in particular have to be extremely innovative to grow the economy, expand the job market and compete with the best in the world. In America, we have the Silicon Valley. This is the incubation point or centre of innovators. If you have a good innovation, you take it, sell and patent it there. The young person who does that begins to live his lifetime dream from that point. This is the direction we must take.
Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore have invested in their smartest minds. The Government makes a deliberate effort in those young individuals who are identified at very early stages of their lives because of their innovations and smart ideas so that there are no huddles or bottlenecks for them to achieve their desired dreams by coming up with important innovations that are not just important to themselves but also to their country.
In Kenya, I believe the Jubilee Administration, by having the Youth Enterprise Development Fund or the Uwezo Fund and the technical institutes, is moving in the right direction. But it must move a step further by identifying research and development centres. Right now, we think we are doing very well because we have the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). Those are based in different fields. On the side of innovations, particularly in industrialisation, computer technology and software development, we can do a lot. If the Government makes a deliberate effort to invest in those important areas, we will do well and move in the right direction. A good example is the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), major highways or industries that have come up in recent years. These will provide a major source of training to young people so that they can understand engineering and innovation. It has taken us over 100 years plus to come up with a second railway line. This is because we have not invested in knowledge economy where young people are allowed or encouraged to think at very early stages in their lives.
In the area of research and development, the Government must do something serious and deliberate because if we do not invest in research, many things are not likely to happen. We will just be an import economy where our people will be employing others from overseas. As a result, we will not create enough jobs in our country.
I support this Motion particularly in the creation of jobs for young people. If we are a knowledge-based economy and if we invest in innovation of our young people, we will have employment or unlimited job opportunities. This is really important.
Finally, for this particular thinking to be operationalised, the Government must put in place a deliberate policy so that innovation becomes part of the Government or the establishment. We must allocate money for research, development and innovation in the national Budget.
With those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. At the outset, I would like to congratulate the Mover, Hon. Mwaura. I also congratulate Hon. Gatobu for ably and competently supporting and seconding the Motion.
This is an important Motion which has come at the right time. I wish it could have come earlier. The youth of this country make up over 60 per cent of the population. If we do not take The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
care of the youth in terms of making them productive by building their capacities, we shall not make Kenya a great nation. For us to make this country a great nation, we need to focus our attention on the youth by building their capacities and putting in place mechanisms that will enable Kenyans or the nation to exploit their capacities. Exploitation and use of their capacities can be realised to some extent by passing the Motion and putting in place the institutions recommended by this Motion. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I note that the Motion calls for the creation of an innovation fund and a national incubation system. Since my university days when I used to be a leader in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Nairobi, we used to have Chemistry Club. Through the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), we used to have exhibitions and fairs to identify innovations among the youth from high schools, secondary schools and universities. It is unfortunate that even after documentation and publication of these documents, the information derived from those initiatives remains on the shelves and has never been disseminated. Lack of dissemination means that the Government has not taken action with regard to the implementation process. It is evident that students and youth in general have skills and innovations that need to be nurtured and made use of. I want to place special attention on the fund which is recommended by this Motion. If you look at the current situation in this country, you will find that we have the Uwezo Fund and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF), which are being accessed by the youth. Unfortunately, these funds do not recognise successful enterprises and innovations that require further support which cannot be offered by the Uwezo Fund. It is for that reason that, as a nation, we should treat Uwezo Fund and the YEDF as funds that can be used as incubation and identification of potential businesses and enterprises that can be used to grow businesses and initiatives further. It is for this reason that I support the proposal that we have this fund which will support the identified enterprises to grow from micro to small; small to medium; and medium to large. From my experience as an entrepreneur scholar, if we can have 5 per cent of Kenyans running successful enterprises, the 5 per cent can support the remaining 95 per cent. If this is done, it will mean that every Kenyan will be in the economic net and web, and we shall get our country moving forward. It is also important to recognise that enterprises started and managed by women also require to be supported. Women sometimes find themselves in situations of negative displacement, where they do not have access to credit although they have good business ideas. I support this Motion. I would like this Motion to be expanded to also include women and persons with disability. Finally, the Kenya Government has started a very good initiative of establishing technical institutions and centres in all constituencies in this country including Gichugu. In these technical institutions, I hope we will have a department of business incubation where the youth can incubate their businesses which they can implement when they get out of school. Unfortunately, at this particular moment, some constituencies like mine are still lagging behind in the establishment of this institution because we still have land issues. I urge county governments to move with speed, and in particular Kirinyaga County Government, to ensure that an appropriate parcel of land is identified as quickly as possible for construction of the technical institute which has been frustrated by the county government for the last two years. With those few remarks, I support the Motion. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Members, we are having a little bit of a technical problem with the microphone, but we will find a way around it soon. Hon. Onyura, the Member for Butula has the microphone. It is your chance now.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity. Right away, I support this Motion very strongly. I will always support anything that improves the lot of our youth because I know that the best way for us to build the future of our country is through the youth who we all expect to hand over leadership and other responsibilities to. This Motion, should it be implemented, will obviously result in the improvement of a lot of our youth in terms of empowerment and advancing the quality of their lives. Some of the major threats to stability in our country include tribalism and corruption. But an even bigger threat is the issue of lack of employment, particularly among our youth, who are full of energy and are well-educated. We have many graduates roaming around without employment. The issue of unemployment is a major bomb just waiting to explode. One other way of addressing this is by encouraging and identifying those who have talent, are creative and imaginative and are looking for ways of developing. Not only will they create jobs for themselves but will also, through those innovations, carry many others along with them. My suggestion is that the relevant Ministry, in a matter like this, should immediately create a kind of Huduma desk that can start looking at ways of implementing this because we have a lot of talent out there. There is so much that we come across even from the congresses that have been mentioned. Even when you walk around the village, you get people with tremendous creativity and imagination. The other day, when I was just walking around, I could see people, even at a fairly young age, being able to model and replicate toys and all manner of vehicles from whatever materials they come across. It could just be scraps of metal or even plastics. There is a lot of talent out there which is just waiting to be tapped, guided and directed. We should create systems where this can be structured properly and then provide ways of mentoring as has been mentioned here. What many of these entrepreneurs and innovative minds lack is just encouragement and resources. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we should have a structured way of helping our youth to develop talents. I feel that we should devolve innovation. We should encourage all counties to have the innovation fund and centres for incubation. Since counties are close to the people, we should encourage them to adopt these initiatives as part of their service to their people in terms of development and improving quality of lives of their people. These projects will tap into a lot of energy that exists among our youth that is at times misused. Most of them are lured into crimes and drugs. At times, when there is a little instigation to demonstrations, most of the youth join without even knowing what is happening. Because of the too much energy and idleness, it is very easy to recruit our youth into these negative activities. If this Motion is well-thought out and programmed, it will go a long way in assisting our youth. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I support, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Let us now have the Member for Chuka/Igambang’ombe.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. At the outset, I want to support this Motion. I would also like to thank Hon. Mwaura in absentia for bringing this Motion. We are in a fast world in intervention of technology. We have travelled a path as a country with an education system that provides competition in innovation from primary and secondary schools through science congress. If all the discoveries we have made in these laboratories and award won would have been implemented, we would have been exporting technology instead of importing it. We import lighters, matchboxes and toys that would have been made very easily here. We also import very ridiculous things some that are used for a purpose that I do not want to mention here. This is the case and yet we see many of these things on the streets made by our children who have not even gone to school. They only need a trick to make them useful in the modern technology. It is important to nurture talent. In the 18th Century, when we had the late American evolution, North Carolina was among the poorest states in America because their economy was mainly based on tobacco, furniture and textile. It was among the third bottom in technology in America. They established three universities in North Carolina namely The Duke University in Durham District, the North Carolina University and the North Carolina State University. These universities were mainly centres for knowledge. They realised they were not going to get out of poverty because of these universities. They were only breeding experts and technicians but they were only going to enrich the other part of the country because they did not have any centre of innovation. They decided to establish the research triangle, which has innovation centres. All the talents picked from these universities were put in this place. The blue chip companies like the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), General Electrics, Microsoft and Apple were set up in North Carolina. This was because land was cheap and labour for the technology that they needed was easily available and cheap. This is because fresh graduates were not as expensive as the old and experienced ones. Based on that there was a change in the economy of North Carolina because there were many immigrants coming in to benefit from the research triangle and jobs were created. Today, North Carolina is among the top five in the economy of America because they nurtured their innovation centres. We must ensure that we tap talent and ensure that it is not scattered. We must make sure that we do not have brain drain, whereby we educate people but they move to other places to practise. This Motion is critical because it will ensure that the great innovative minds of the young people in Kenya are retained here. These innovations should be utilised at a fee or get market for the same. However, the situation in Kenya is wanting. The system of protecting the intellectual rights for our youth who have innovations is cumbersome. There is a lot of bureaucracy when one needs to patent an intervention that you have. There is lack of legislative framework that enables one to patent this. Some of the ideas are stolen at an early stage. The concept of M-Pesa was brought up by the youth but they never saw the light of the day. There is need to ensure that intellectual property rights law is streamlined to ensure that copyrights and patents of our innovators have not only been implemented but also respected. We have very many musicians who hardly benefit from their original music because there is a lot of pirated music in the backstreet. The law enforcement agencies have been unable to implement this law so that people caught pirating are brought to book so that our musicians benefit. They The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
are sometimes robbed by people who pose as modern brokers. We had a case where musicians who have their music in the iTunes and call back tunes in the telecommunication companies like Safaricom and Airtel, take a chunk of the innovation of musicians such that they only get meagre earnings out of their innovations. This is the case and yet it is very expensive to produce that music. If this Motion is developed into a Bill, it will streamline this industry to ensure that these ideas are not stolen, we keep our talents here and we benefit from them. As I conclude, it is important to note that Africa, especially Kenya is a big source of raw material for the manufacturing companies in the world. If you look at the textile industry, you will find that we get our cotton under hard conditions but export it raw without processing. After that, we go to America and Britain and buy those expensive suits from the two countries. This is the case and yet these countries do not grow cotton because of their climate. We give them our cotton and then we go and buy it in form of expensive suits. That is very smart robbery without violence. One of the problems that the innovation support will solve is to ensure that we do not have to do those unnecessary exports of raw materials.
Some advanced companies in America use drones, that we nowadays see being used to take aerial photos, for delivery of food and other light deliveries. A drone is programmed from an office. It comes all the way to your home to deliver a parcel and then it goes back. It does not have to go through a traffic jam or poor weather. It just goes and comes back after delivering. That is an innovation of a youth. You can see how it is critical. If we really supported them, we would have those technologies available right here in Kenya. Let us not go the China way. It is possible to pick what China can do and improve on it without having to go a certain route to buy it from China. I am not ashamed to say this. We went to China the other day. We discovered that there is a market called “the copy market” which is legal and within the law. A market has been set where you only find copies. Copies means they pick what has been done and then they copy and make an imitation and you buy it at a reduced price. They also have a university called “the University of Copying”. It is very interesting. “The University of Copying” means you pick a Mercedes and you make a car that resembles a Mercedes, but is not necessarily a Mercedes and you perfect it. You fake it until it happens. Through that, they have made a lot of money. So, if China can make money out of copying, why can Kenyans not make money out of innovation? With those few remarks, let us support the innovations by the youth. Let us grow the future of this nation through this Motion. I support the Motion.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Serious nations in the world take time on what nature has for them. A lot more, many nations get to identify the human resource talents that people have from very early levels. They nurture, follow and track these to an extent that after a period of time, these talents become very useful sources of wealth for those countries. Unfortunately, most African countries, including ours, do very little in terms of tracking talent. We do very little in terms of making deliberate efforts of creating environments that can make people think beyond what they see. They can make people be innovative. Our curriculum is in a manner that it is constantly holding minds to a direction that many times does not give space for some learners, at their earlier stages, to think beyond and think outside sets of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
exams that they do from time to time. This is where we have a problem. We need to differentiate what we are calling innovation and incubation. For purposes of innovation, some very deliberate efforts must be done in this country, particularly in isolating the kind of challenges that we experience as a people. Many times, we normally say that challenge calls for response. Immediately we identify challenges and we code or list them and everybody is aware that these are the kind of challenges that we have, there will always be a constant attempt to come up with avenues or alternatives and minds that are able to think in terms of how to respond to those challenges. We have not done enough on this. The poverty levels keep growing and poverty, just like corruption, fights back. It constantly puts us in a simple mind all the time. It also puts us in some kind of quick solutions that, by the end of the day, we go round in circles without getting out of poverty. We have set up funds and we keep on creating them. Whether it is Uwezo Fund, the YEDF or whatever funds we create, all of them are still tailored towards addressing some of the things that we are very sure and very much aware that they have failed. So, we are in a situation where we are going round in circles but we are not helping our people improve. This is so because of the leaner way of how we think and how we want things to be easy in terms of how we want to either monitor them or check them without creating space for people to be creative. The entire Parliament could not be aware that USAID, the American Fund, has what they are calling the innovation machine. This is a fund that is in this country and they are calling out on minds and people who have creative ways of addressing some of the challenges we have in the nation. Who is thinking slightly different from what is going on? Who is bringing out some value addition, whether in terms of thought lines, products or how things are arranged? If it is visible that there is something you are coming up with that can enhance certain efforts, they are able to fund. This is happening in this country. In a similar manner, we wonder why some of the minds we have in the Government cannot sit down and check how we address these things. Things are very scattered and nobody knows who is doing what and where. So, when we talk about issues of incubation, which I now want to separate from innovation, we can handle incubation in a manner that we do not even have to go national. We can have it in a small way at the location, village or county. We do not have to look at it in terms of the national arrangement. Our media is doing a lot. I have been very impressed with the weekend newspapers.
The Member for Juja, let Hon. Ochanda submit in silence.
The Member for Juja needs to be innovative. What I was saying is that our media has of late been doing a lot. If you look at the weekend newspapers, you will find that there is a lot of information about what individuals are doing across the country. On Saturdays, we see smart farms and people struggling in their own small ways. I do not know if somebody in the Government could just look through the newspapers for the last one year only and see what exactly they can isolate for purposes of incubation and supporting those that are making effort to make sure that, at least, people learn. We can have more people do some of these creative things. By the end of the day, I do not think we will be talking about hunger because there will be enough food. What are we able to carry from one environment to the other for purposes of supporting food production and promoting employment? This is The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
because if we are not creative and innovative and we are constantly talking about joblessness, we will be in this situation forever. We will even be poorer. This is because potential areas for purposes of creating jobs will not be there. So, if our Government was enough, we would have an entity like Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) that constantly isolates and follows up on what individuals do privately. The Government could as well learn and borrow ideas from such bodies. For a long period of time during the implementation of the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP), the Government was investing a lot of money in the construction of fish ponds in our constituencies. I remember very well, even though I was not the Member of Parliament then, that my constituency was given Kshs40 million or something close to that for the purpose of setting up fish ponds. All those things are not there now. We now see the reality that it would have been much cheaper to do the fish ponds in the lake regions as opposed to struggling to set them up in areas within which communities have no idea what fish or fish ponds are. It was a waste of money.
What I am trying to say is that we have the potential. We also have many people, at a personal level, who are doing a lot and yet nobody is deliberately making effort to follow them up. If only such people could be supported, we would be having many learning centres by now. Indeed, if this happened, I am convinced that my county would not be where it is today. If, say, a county just allocated Kshs10 million for purposes of promoting what exists or adding value to what exists, we would be far in terms of development. In my view, this is exactly where the innovation fund should go. Even if you look at it at the level of the national Government, it should be approached in a manner that it goes to the smaller levels. We need to separate those that will appear very scientific from those that are very simple that one can add little information, talent and effort and it changes everything that happens around us. I want to support this idea in the sense that the Government needs to start thinking seriously in terms harnessing whatever individuals are doing all over the country. That way, we will have more learning centres for purposes of creativity and production. I am interested more in food production, because we do not need to go hungry as a nation.
Very well, Hon. Ochanda. Well spoken. We shall now have Hon. Richard Tong’i, the Member for Nyaribari Chache.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity to speak to this Motion. It is a Motion that is so dear to me because I believe it is the way to go and it is the future of the country. A nation is measured by the quality of youth that it is nurturing. As a country, we have a duty and obligation to ensure that we have a country which will be there even after we exit the scene. For a long time, the youth in Kenya have been used during campaigns only. It is a very sad story. That is why at the outset, I would like to support this Motion. I want to thank Hon. Mwaura for a well thought-out Motion, which I believe is the panacea to some of the challenges we are faced with as a country. I am reminded of what the Bible says in the book of John, Chapter 6, Verse 1 to 20 or thereabout. It tells us of the gathering that Jesus had and, indeed, it included leaders, prophets, people who had gone to school and people who had a lot of experience in very many things and the youth. There was one youth who believed in himself and believed in what he had. When time came to have a meal, Jesus asked his prophets and his leaders what to give people who were gathered before them. There were more than 5,000 people. One of the prophets said they had only a few shillings, for lack of a better terminology, which money was not enough to buy bread The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
for everybody. He looked around and got a boy who said he had five loaves of bread and two fish. He believed it was enough for everybody. What I gather from this story is that the Sanhedrin in that meeting did not believe that it was enough, but the boy believed it was enough to feed everybody. Indeed, the boy provided leadership and he fed the people. It is the same thing today. If we nurture our youth and support them we will be surprised by the potential that they have. It is sad that we only remember them during campaigns. We remember them now because the campaigns are fast approaching. We are now going to group them for purposes of using them to implement our strategies as we seek re-election. It is a very sad story. These are people who have a lot of potential and will take this nation to the next level. Therefore, this Motion could never have come at a better time. It is because of what it stands for. When we were in school, and I am sure it pretty happens even now, we used to have Science Congress and innovation days. Those innovation days were just innovation days. They were there for showbiz. You were required to demonstrate what you know and if you were lucky to catch the attention of the media, it would propagate your story. We need to develop that to the next level. We have a duty to ensure that the innovative ideas that the youth have take this country to the next level. The world over, the best companies do not recruit the most experienced managers because an experienced manager has exhausted his or her ideas. If you look at the good companies which believe in the future, you will find that they go head-hunting for the youth in colleges and give them job opportunities. But what happens in countries like ours? You get a person who had an idea which worked 20 years or 30 years ago, but because we still believe that he has an idea, we select that person and give him a job. What we do not know is that the person will only recycle the same old idea that he had. Like the Bible says, we all can do what we can within the knowledge that we have. If only we could get the new guys from the university, give them a challenge, let them make mistakes and give them assignments, trust me, they will come up with a different way of doing things. They will help us resolve the challenges that we have as a country and in the process we will end up with innovative ideas of driving this economy to the next level. My proposal is that we need to include in this law the issue of recruitment. This idea of saying that we are looking for people who have experience---Where is the industry for experience? Where do people get experience before they are hired? If you cannot trust me with a new idea, you cannot trust me with an office. If you cannot give me a chance to do internship so that I can learn how best it can be done, then we are going to hurt as a country. We are also going to lose out on opportunities. If you go to any shopping centre today, you will be saddened to find strong, energetic and healthy men waiting for handouts. They wait for politicians to pass by and give them something small so that they can compose a song or two for them. This is not the way to engage our youth. This Motion helps us to do exactly what we should have done as a country many years ago. If you look at the elections which happened in America, you will find that the youth said enough is enough. They do not want the political establishment because the best the political establishments have done is to recycle ideas and the same old people. I believe that they are the people who have ideas. I believe there are many people out there who have not been given an opportunity to articulate their issues or agenda in the public domain. Given a chance, they will make a difference and make great contribution to this great country. All of us would be proud to be in Kenya. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The Bible says, the old men are meant to dream the dreams and the young people to have visions. That vision can only come to pass if we give them the opportunity and the support that they need. That way, they will drive the agenda of Kenya forward. I am not saying in any way that we should ignore the old experience at hand.
We must deliberately go out of our way to blend the young and the old, so that as the old exit the scene, the young ones will have the experience to drive this economy and the values of this country to the next level. Like Okonkwo said in his book: “Where are the young suckers to take over from the old ones, when they are all gone? Where are the young bananas that will grow when the old ones are harvested?” As a country we should be worried that we have not deliberately invested in the youth. We need to have an innovation fund where the youth who have ideas can be given an opportunity to try.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, you are my agemate and you will agree with me that there was a boy who had an idea of making an aeroplane. I learnt that the boy landed in jail because he had an idea that was not accepted by the authorities in Kenya. Instead of putting him in a place where he can hone his skills, he was sent to jail because according to them, he was endangering people’s lives. It is time we set up innovation centres, funds and get experts who can identify these talents amongst our people so that they can be put in that place to be used to drive this economy.
There is a programme on TV every Monday called “ The Lion’s Den” . People come to the show to present brilliant ideas on how they can turn around the economy, change their fortunes and how they can create employment. All they are looking for are investors or people who have money and want to invest in a new idea. If you listen to those people, you will appreciate that, as a country, we are not short of people who can do things, but we are only short of people who can trust the young people to thrive and do what they know best. The day we accept, embrace and give them the opportunity so that they can do what they know best, come up with those ideas which look crazy and they turn out to be the best things that ever happened to any economy; that will be the beginning of this country.
I am grateful that KCB under the leadership of a brilliant young man called Joshua Oigara, who believes in the young people, has given them an opportunity so that they can be identified and their ideas aired. In doing so, there will be an investor out there who will appreciate them and give them an opportunity to develop that which they believe in. By so doing, we are going to have unemployment addressed.
Hon. Tong’i, I have heard you say that innovation springs from the Bible itself where Jesus was the first innovator when he invited the young man to feed thousands with a few fish. It is very interesting.
Let us now have Hon. Robert Mbui, the Member for Kathiani.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for the opportunity. First, I would like to thank Hon. Mwaura for coming up with this very important Motion that is aimed at supporting youth innovations by the Government. I have to give a few reasons why I think this is an excellent piece of legislation.
Firstly, I believe that the youth represent the future. We need to allow the youth or give them an opportunity so that they can find light at the end of this dark tunnel of this nation. Currently, we all know that Kenya is bogged down by corruption, poverty and unemployment. The people who suffer most as a result of these issues are the youth. It is important that we give them an opportunity so that they can brighten their future and ensure that the future of this nation is bright. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Secondly, I support this Motion because of the importance that I believe innovation has in our lives. Essentially, innovation helps us solve life’s problems. You know that we have currently come up with interesting and exciting innovations. We are now able to transact with our bank accounts from this House through our mobile phones. We are able to communicate with people all over the world right here with a gadget you hold by hand. You are also able to communicate with somebody in the US, and you can see each other as you talk. Basically, innovation is extremely important.
I believe that given an opportunity and since their minds are still fresh and open to great ideas, they can come up with incredible solutions. I want to imagine that right now, I am the Organising Secretary of the Wiper Democratic Movement of Kenya. I would imagine that one of these youth can come up with an innovation that can help us detect potential defectors even before they join our party.
There is nothing that is impossible. These days you walk with a gun through a scanner and it can tell you are carrying a gun. It is probably possible.
Hon. Mbui, do I hear you saying that you would like your party to have some device that can detect the hearts of Kenyans whether they want to join it?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is nothing that cannot be innovated. There are people who can look at your heart, measure your heartbeat and do all these things. I know that maybe we can be able to look at people’s minds and temperaments and know that this one has the potential of staying in the party for five years and another one will defect after one year. This will ensure that the people we get can help us.
It is also possible that you can come up with innovation to catch corrupt people. These are possible things. Innovation is the ability to come up with new ideas and things that people thought were impossible. Maybe in future we will have a corruption free Kenya because we have people---
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for your protection. The other reason is, by empowering our youth, we are also helping them to fight the vices that affect them. These are issues to do with drugs, alcohol, early sex and marriages, prostitution and lawlessness. If we empower them we will basically allow them the opportunity to do greater things with their lives and, therefore, they will participate in some of the things that they do. The reason our youth look desperate and constantly getting involved in all these criminal offences is simply because they have no hope. If we give them an opportunity and fund them properly to innovate, come up with great ideas and do great things, I am certain they will help this country.
The other reason I support this Motion is because, it allows the Government to avail funds to the youths. The youth cannot access funds currently. If you go to a banking institution or any financial institution to try and get money to do business, one of the things that they will be expected to give is collateral security which they do not have. They have just come out of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
college. It is important that we empower and allow them an opportunity to access funds that can enable them to start up their lives and come up with these great and brilliant ideas, and develop them into future innovations and inventions that will shape the future of our nation.
The other reason is unemployment. We all know that there is a major problem of unemployment in this country. This is something that has been sung by politicians since time immemorial, but unfortunately, nothing much is being done about it. If we provide a fund and allow innovation in this country, obviously that is one problem that will be sorted out. Those that come up with brilliant ideas and develop them into functional items can employ others and support themselves. So, the issue of unemployment will reduce. As the youth get opportunities to employ others, they will solve one problem that they face. When the youth try to get jobs after college, they are always asked for a few years of experience. How do you have experience when you are fresh from college? Will you spend five years working for people for free as an intern so that that you can get experience to be employed and earn a salary? This is a problem that the youth know because it affects them. So, if we allow the youth to access funds in order for them to innovate and come up with business, they will employ their own. They will also not give them those conditions that are completely impossible for them to deal with. We will eventually end up with development of talents in this nation. We will have a bigger pool of youth that can do much more.
How do we achieve this? This is a very good idea but when we give these funds to the youth, what will they need in order to excel? The first thing we need to look at is our education system. We must nurture innovation. We need to develop an education system that allows people to think. Our education system stifles innovation by our youth. Even the questions in our examination demand fixed answers. I looked at our primary school exams and realized that one is given four choices. That is A, B, C and D. The answer can only be one of those. I do not think life is supposed to be that way. There ought to be option. We should have option A, B, C or D. They are not always right or wrong. You could have two or three right answers. We need to change our education system to move from that level of considering what is written in the textbooks as being always right. I remember when I was doing Geography in school the text book we were using stated that where I come from, the lower eastern part of Kenya, is semi-arid. This is the case and yet my constituency is completely green. I would take photos at home, take them to school and people would tell me: “No, this is not Ukambani. It must be somewhere in central Kenya.” This is because the textbook said that. That is what we need to move away from. We need to create a situation where our education system is also evolving so that we can create innovative minds that understand change continuously. We should not make things rigid for the people that we are trying to nurture so that they develop this nation in future. Finally, we do not want to politicise youth issues. In the last election one of the political parties – I do not want to mention names - said that it had a youth agenda. It is four years since the last election. We have looked for that youth agenda all over and we cannot find it. I represent the youth of Kathiani and I have not seen any youth agenda. That was part of the many promises that we were given during the campaigns. So, it is important that we do not politicize these issues. As we come up with an idea of a fund such as this, let the Government take it seriously and ensure that it is implemented. In Machakos County where I come from, the government constantly has ideas about the youth. They say they are giving them 2,000 jobs but the youth are still eating muguka out there. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Very well spoken. We shall now have Hon. Abdul Dawood, the Member for North Imenti.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Let me support Hon. Mwaura's Motion regarding the youth. I want to correct my colleague who is saying that the Jubilee Government does not have an agenda for the youth. I believe the Uwezo Fund is geared towards the youth. What we have done for the youth has never been done before. It is not like “kazi kwa vijana, pesa kwa wazee”
Hon. Abdul Dawood, if I recall the Member for Kathiani did not mention any party or anybody. Let us submit we are not going into side shows. Let us just keep to what we are here to do.
On a point of order.
Hon. Wandayi what is out of order?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, even if it is true that Hon. Dawood is attempting to talk on behalf of Jubilee, it is understandable because he has to try to catch the attention of the owners of Jubilee, and more so, at this critical time. Is he in order as a mere Member of Jubilee representing just one constituency, to purport to speak on behalf of a party whose ownership does not even know him?
Hon. Wandayi, I had already directed and Hon. Dawood was already complying with what is before us. Let us leave party matters out of this.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am not just a mere Member. I am a Member of the Jubilee Coalition by right and that is why I am here.
Very well, Hon. Dawood. Please proceed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, that is his opinion and I will not fight with him because he has got a different way of thinking which does not augur well with me. Regarding our youth, it is very important that we have the incubation centres together with seed funding for the youth because right now, we have the Chandaria incubation centre. We need to come up with ways on how we are going to encourage our youth to be innovative. A case in point would be if you were to invest in youth programmes in the people who graduate in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA). They would be allowed to stay over if they are foreigners and can get seed money to do innovations. There was a gentleman who was in Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) where I was. He was very good in computer innovations, but he could not get support out there until he got employment with Google. He went to the USA and used to work in Ghana. However, he now works in East Africa and South Africa. Had we had these incubation centres in Kenya we could have had use of him, he could have innovated something for us and we could not have to import the way Hon. Mwaura has stated. We have the Bill Gates Foundation that supports youth innovations. We need to come up with our own Silicon Valley. We have Uber whose App is working in Kenya and we have our own who has innovated something close to Uber. We need the Government to come up with funding for such innovations. Hon. Wambui has said that whoever will be here in future will talk about how the youth will be assisted with funding for incubation centres. We have all been through secondary schools, and we have the Science Congress experience where we have participated in one way or the other. Unfortunately, as Hon. Mwaura said, once you are covered by the media you are forgotten. You go back to your home with The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
nobody to invest in your innovations. It all goes down the drain and somebody else takes advantage of what you have done. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support this Motion and ask the Jubilee Government, because it will win in the 2017 elections, to set aside money similar to that of the Uwezo Fund so that we can assist our youth come up with innovations. That way we will move this country forward in realizing Vision 2030. With those few remarks, I support. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Very well. We shall now have Hon. John Kobado, the Member for Uriri.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. At the outset, I support the Motion by Hon. Mwaura. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, innovation is not rocket science. It is the application of better solutions that would meet the new requirements. It is a process whereby you re-engineer to use less for more. Innovation is the way to go in this country. Vision 2030 will be a mirage if we will not embrace innovation. It is about value addition. I was in Europe - the United Kingdom to be more specific - about three months ago. I went to the shops to buy tea leaves. I got a packet of tea leaves which was branded “Yorkshire Tea” but, in very small prints, I could see it was written “Original Kenyan Tea”. That is basic value addition; basic value addition that we really need to have in this country.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is very loud consultation by my leader.
Yes. Members, let us consult in low tones so that the Member can be heard and even hear himself.
It is important to try to find out where the rain started beating us in this country. It all started when we, as a nation or the leadership of this country, decided to convert most of the middle-level colleges into universities. That is where we lost it first because innovation anchors on skills. What we need to do first is to provide the basic and appropriate skills to our youth so that they can use those skills innovatively to change or to improve systems. That is where we went wrong first. At the moment, it is top-heavy. If you look at the industries today, there is lack of technicians and artisans and yet, we are producing so many engineers. You remember, recently, we passed the Engineering Technologists and Technicians Bill in this House. If that Bill is implemented, you would require a situation where we need to have about four technologists, eight technicians and sixteen artisans per one engineer. That is the way to go. Increasingly, in this country, we are becoming a dumping ground for cheap and counterfeit products from China. If you go to our streets today, there is dumping of all sorts of products. You will find that even tooth-picks are imported from China; spoons are imported from China and socks are imported from China. The other day in the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare, we had a delegation from China. They were selling the idea of importing their culture and heritage into this country so that we can adapt to the way they live. So, there is a lot that needs to be done. But, I must say that we have also made positive move towards getting our youth more innovative. The Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) is setting up one The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
of the best state-of-the-art innovation centres in Sub-Sahara Africa. If that goes through, it will be the first step in converting and making Kenya more industrialised. As that goes on, we must also realise that innovation will fight the endemic problems that are facing this country - the unemployment situation. As we speak, the unemployment challenge that is confronting this country is extremely significant. A quarter of the labour force in this country, particularly the youth, is unemployed. The level of unemployment in this country today stands at 25 per cent as compared to the other regions. In every 100 youths in this country, 25 of them do not have jobs. If you compare that with Tanzania and Uganda, for every 100 youths in Uganda and Tanzania, only five do not have jobs. If you look at Burundi, out of 100 youths, only one does not have a job. Something needs to be done.
Members please, are we not interested in hearing what Hon. Kobado has to say? Hon. Chairman of the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) Committee, I think the things he is saying will be useful to us with regard to CDF money. Hon. Kobado, please proceed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the CDF Chairman needs to listen to me on how I have used the CDF money to set up an innovation centre.
In my constituency, I set aside quite a bit of money to set up a talent centre for the talented and gifted students and it has picked up. Sooner than later, we will be talking of exporting manpower to other constituencies and counties in this country. They better listen to this and you will, perhaps, be able to borrow from me. There is need to look at innovation as a value adding activity so that, as we look at the process of production, whether you are in the service sector or manufacturing sector, you can convert the inputs to produce an output that would be sold and be in the market competing with others. There is need to look at the processes. If you look at the processes critically, you will be able to deal with the problems that are facing this country. Today, what we have specialised in is corruption, particularly in the Jubilee Government. They are very innovative when it comes to corruption. It is because, if you look at the input, if you were to determine a system or Government that is efficient, you would look at what resources it has put in to deliver a certain output to citizens. Take the health sector for instance, we are pumping in Kshs5 billion. We do not know what happens in between. The service that goes out is nil. It is zero. This is lack of innovation. If we brought in technology, use of appropriate technology, we would capture some of the challenges that we are facing. Wastage of resources is another issue that would be tackled by innovation. There is a lot of wastage in this country. There is a lot of wastage in terms of even what we produce. We visited a number of sugar factories the other day and found that the by-products are just dumped and wasted. Those by-products could be converted into other products through the process of diversification. I want to also make it known about the other areas that we need to look at. How do we put in place those processes of innovation? How do we transfer skills? Funds have been set up in this country. If you gauge what those Funds have done, I do not think they have really added value. Look at the Uwezo Fund, the focus should not be on capital alone. We should not think that once the money is made available to the youth, that will change their way of living. They The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
need much more than the capital. They need technology transfer. They need skills transfer. We have to critically look at the entire value chain and also look at the education system in this country so that more emphasis is given to technical education and transfer of skills in various sectors of the economy to make the people a bit more innovative. Increasingly, if you look at our system of education, it is more knowledge-based because the focus is more on theory rather than the practical aspects that our youth would be able to use on their own. So, as we emphasise and focus on entrepreneurship, there is need to look at the way we have structured our education system. That is so that as we train our youth, there is need to train them to become a bit more competent or acquire competencies in various areas. We need a competence-based approach rather than a knowledge-based approach to deliver what we require. I have talked of aspects of efficiency in terms of resource input and how that will be converted through business processes to come up with an output. That is why, particularly in the aspect of entrepreneurship, some centres have been set to nurture the talents and the businesses that are cropping up so that, as they get out, they can stand on their own and run well.
Member for Limuru, Eng. Kiragu. Try the intervention button.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I hope this system will work. I rise to support this Motion because it is very important. As we talk about innovation, first, I want to acknowledge the fact that in Limuru Constituency, we have a pilot project in ICT and an incubation centre. I am shocked to see how young people have adopted them to do innovations. I have seen them come even at night. They are working and outsourcing jobs in the USA and others are doing marketing with basic facilities that we have. My hope is that this country will roll out the 290 projects on ICT incubation centres for all the members to benefit. I recall my days when I was a young person. I had the opportunity to be given a challenge of coming up with an engine to drive a locomotive car in this country. I remember some of the people I worked with who really contributed a lot. Some were basic artisans and technicians. I remember the likes of Omondi, Otieno and Waweru. When I say this, I see my former colleague Hon. John, Member of Parliament for Uriri, who would recall our days in Railway Central Workshops. However, the challenge we have in this country is that yes, we have people who can innovate and who can come up with ideas, but we do not seem to have a way of supporting the development of those ideas. When we developed our engine in those days, Mahindra were doing the same in India. However, Kenyans would support Mahindra and not their own ideas. I know many people who have come up with ideas, but Kenyans tend to kill them. I remember the sugar industry which had problems. They did not even have knives to cut sugarcane. We came up with an idea of using scrap metal to make sugarcane knives for the sugar industry instead of importing them. What is shocking is that somehow all the scrap materials that we were using for making the cane knives were sold and exported. We came up with the idea of developing sugar rollers for crushing cane and the method of shrinking the shaft. This is an item that is over 10 tonnes. Today, Nzoia, Chemelil and Mumias are importing them. It is my hope that we become serious as a country, that if we want to create employment then we need to deal with solutions for our people. We need to make hard decisions. Some of the hard decisions we have to make in this country are to what extent we can adopt a local content or the things that come from outside this country. Whether it is a product or their services, as Kenyans we must make contribution. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
We have people importing hospital beds and the ones we use ourselves. There is a luxury level that Kenyans have taken and that kind is difficult to be supported by an economy like ours. No wonder we have shifted the very good technical colleges to universities. We used to have the likes of Kenya Polytechnic which now offers degrees other than produce technicians and artisans that we require. Those skills are important for supporting this economy. Somehow, there are people who have thought that maybe the best way to make this country not to move is by making sure that we only appreciate degrees and not the other skills. As I speak, we have the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project. It is a major project for this country and we have waited for 100 years. The good thing is that for the first time we have SGR. The SGR will enable us get locomotive wagons and couches like all the other countries without people making special equipment for this country. It has been difficult for us to procure special equipment to service our one metre gauge railway. The challenge for us as we go forward is how we will sustain that railway system in producing spares and making sure maintenance is done properly. We need to come up with innovations; we need people to do research be it at the universities or the private sector. We must be the people to challenge the best in this world by making sure we support our own. My plea in this area is that as Members of Parliament, we should continue charting the way forward for this nation. Kenyans are known to be good – they have what it takes but the only thing that we need to do is to make sure that we support them in every aspect and make sure when we get a good idea; it is not killed but promoted. It does not matter who drives it but it is good for this nation. We all take it and we move with it. With those few words, I would like to support this Motion and hopefully, when it is finally concluded we will provide the way forward for lifting this country. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. First of all, I want to congratulate our colleague, Hon. Mwaura for bringing this Motion to the House because of its importance and the impact it will have on our people and the country. I am worried that this Motion is urging. It will not have anything that can enforce the new ideas that are envisaged by Hon. Mwaura. I, therefore, hope that further legislation is going to be undertaken. I hope as the Motion goes through, Hon. Mwaura should be ready with a detailed Bill which will, therefore, become law when it is passed. Let me say that any country which has no plans, which does not come up with new ideas and methods to support its youth is definitely bound to have bungled generations. Generations that will remain underdeveloped and will not have the effects that we require as a country. I heard Hon. Onyura talk about promises. Colleagues, sometimes it is important to face the truth. The current Jubilee Government truly promised so much to be done for the youth of this country. It even promised the construction of stadiums in the regions and the establishment of academies. All of us know that none of those things has been done. It, therefore, ought to be serious. And Kenyans must take this thing seriously. When we are campaigning and making pledges and saying we want to do so much, we should be able to do them, as opposed to just getting votes and forgetting about the people who supported and the ideas for which you were elected. It is important, therefore, that we look at these things as we move forward. For instance, the youth fund was a bright idea. It ought to have assisted youth in the country. What became of it? Those that were placed in place of authority to run the youth fund ended up stealing all the money. They were just picking the money from the accounts. One lady and some fellow took all the money from the youth fund. And this is happening when somebody is keeping watch. This is happening when those who are expected to ensure that the funds reach the youth to change their The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
lives are not doing anything. As we speak, the youth fund is no longer providing any support to the youth of this country. Like our colleague was saying, innovation is crucial to continuing success of any organisation, any nation or any institution going forward. Therefore, we must keep our eyes on what it is that we need to do. What kind of innovation? What is it that---
Hon. Cyprian, I saw you withdraw your card and you would have been next from this side. But I see you having consultations there. Kindly keep the levels lower so that Hon. Wamunyinyi can be heard.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I was just complimenting Hon. Muhia for what she said on the ability to even read people’s minds. If we are innovative enough, because of the technology that exists, if we can do more, we should be able to. I quite agree with him because the social psychology of technological innovation is said to be as mysterious as that of any form of creativity. Based on this, we should be able to do more to ensure that we come up with new ways of doing things that will have an impact on our nation. While this is so, our education system - my brothers have talked about this - should be adjusted so that we are able to enhance creativity and innovation. The system of education also matters so much if we are to move in the direction that Members have talked about since morning. Because of the need for other Members to speak, I would like to say that we must lay strategies that will take us through to engage and come up with meaningful innovations as envisaged by Hon. Mwaura. When I complimented you, Hon. Mwaura, you were not in. I want to thank you for this Motion. But I was worried you are only urging the Government. As we know, the Jubilee Government initially had these plans for the youth in our country but nothing has happened, including stadiums, academies and so on. What will make them implement this good Motion? It is, therefore, important, Hon. Mwaura, that you follow up this Motion with a Bill. I hope you are in the process of developing the same or it is ready so that it can be brought to the House with details that will ensure what the spirit is, what your thinking is and what we need to do for the youth in our country is implemented. If that does not happen, we are just going to debate here and Members will give good ideas then it ends there. With these remarks, I support the Motion and pray that legislation is brought in the House to ensure it becomes law. I thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion by Hon. Mwaura. Let me take this opportunity to thank my colleague Hon. Mwaura for bringing this Motion, especially the fact that it touches our youth. The youth, as we know, are the backbone of any nation or family or any other organisation. If we do not nurture our youth the right way, we might produce half-baked people who would not carry the country to the Kenya Vision 2030 as we envisage, or more so to see the growth of the nation. Our youth have always been taken for granted and most of them are left to cut a niche for themselves without proper guidance. At the end of the day, because of the systems and attitudes and curricula which we have already adopted, maybe imported or developed from within, we end up having a lot of youth who we claim are learned, they have gone through bookwork up to university, but at the end of the day they are not specialised in any way. In this regard, before we start talking of how we can get our youth to become innovative and incubate them to become people who can bring in ideas and new technologies which can help this country, we need to develop a curriculum, an education system, where talents are discovered and nurtured from the word go. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
There are a lot of subjects which our children study these days. You will find a Standard Four pupil is carrying a bag heavier than himself or herself because one has to read so many books. But at the end of the day, you cannot tell what that child will specialise in. Until you get to university, you will find that many of them will drop out on the way maybe because their lines of development as far as academics is concerned were distorted somewhere in the system. I pray the education system being developed now will cater for individual talents. If one is talented in anything, even if it is sports, music, athletics, art or any other discipline, proper support should be given so that, that particular talent is not lost and it is used in the future.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Government has to invest in its people as the Motion urges. We have to invest in this one because for us to have those talents developed properly, there should be an investment on the same. It should be from the word go. We should also create an enabling environment within our systems that will help those youths to develop their talents further.
Some countries have started talent academies. They should be supported and funded properly through the county governments so that those with talents can advance them there. We have the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives which, most of the time, is given a raw deal when we make the Budget. It is not given enough money to start industries which can take in those youths so that they can develop their talents there. We are a country that exports a lot of materials or goods in their raw form to foreign countries. When you follow those products, most of which are agricultural products to the countries they are exported to, they add little value to the youth who are not able to get white collar jobs in countries like Kenya, where we do not have enough jobs for our young people and, at the end of the day, the same products come to us in a different form. If it is tea, it is brought packed in a different name like KETEPA and is very expensive. If we develop the industries in our country like the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and live up to the standards and once they are established, they have to be actualized--- Sometimes, we say it on paper and, at the end of the day, you do not see the results of the same. Once we develop this, we shall accommodate or assimilate many youths who are already walking in the streets of this country and trotting from office to office looking for jobs in the private sector and Government offices. If you go to offices of most Members of Parliament here, you will find heaps of applications for jobs from youth who want us to help them. Others are in soft copies. You will find a bunch of them waiting for jobs, but we cannot get those jobs in those offices in this country now. We have to develop industries which will employ the youth so that we can reduce the level of unemployment in our country.
Power or electricity is a necessity in this country, especially in the rural areas. You will find that there are some places where darkness has never left them. People cannot charge their phones and yet, we are in a digital world. Our children have laptops and iPhones. An iPhone will stay for 24 hours without power because there is no power where the youth are. They cannot get it unless they go to the shopping centre or when they go back to school. Therefore, Kenya Power and the Rural Electrification Authority should put their best feet forward and install power in every village and in each shopping centre where those young people can use their talents to open small barber shops, salons, cyber cafes and many others. We need to create an enabling environment for our children to get their talents developed and give them a chance to open up their minds to take this country forward. This will be done with the Fund that needs to be properly controlled and vetted by the Ministry of Industry, Trade The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
and Cooperatives to see that this one is done. If we do not do that, even Vision 2030 will be a pipe dream.
With those few remarks, I support Hon. Mwaura’s Motion. Thank you.
Hon. Ferdinand Wanyonyi, Member for Kwanza.
I have sat here more than anybody else, but I thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me the opportunity to support this Motion by my good brother, Hon. Isaac Mwaura.
First and foremost, although most people have supported this Motion, I urge Hon. Mwaura that after this, he must have this Motion as a Bill because everyone who has stood up has supported it with very good ideas. I know for sure that there have been attempts in the past to assist the youth and to tap the youth empowerment strategies, but they have not yielded anything. One which was done during the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) Government was the Economic Stimulus Programme for the youth. Had it been taken seriously, we would be a step forward. The other one is the Youth Enterprise Development Fund which has been embezzled and we have ourselves to blame for the same. So, the youth have not benefited. Instead, some individuals stole all the money that was supposed to have helped the youth. The other attempt which was made - and which was very commendable - was during Mzee Moi’s time. He did very well. We had the Nyayo car and Uhuru programmes. I drive one of the vehicles that were assembled locally. It is called “Uhuru”. It is an Isuzu motor vehicle. The Head of State then, President Moi, did very well. We had a plant in the National Youth Service in Ruaraka that assembled motor vehicles locally. Had we actually come in and facilitated the programme, we would be talking about something else.
So, there have been attempts in the past, but all have been in vain. My advice to Hon. Mwaura is that this Motion is good and long overdue. He has framed it very well, but let us have it as a Bill so that the youth cannot struggle in vain. We have a lot of innovation like M-Pesa, which was done by a Kenyan. We now have E-banking which was also done by Kenyans. In fact, I am told that the Americans were in the country trying to copy that system and it has worked very well. I believe that can be done. If we do not do something, we are sitting on a time bomb. When you walk in the streets here, you see many youths moving from one street to the other doing nothing; youths who are very energetic and ready to work. Yesterday, I was very impressed by two youths who were so desperate to show how dangerous unemployment was. They had a placard going round the streets. Some media house picked that up. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, if you did not see that, they had a placard saying they are graduates. One of them has done a B-Com degree with Second Class, Upper Division honours and the other one did something else. You can see how serious it is if we do not take this seriously.
Hon. Mwaura, I thank you repeatedly for coming up with this Motion. Look at those two youths who are walking around. One of them graduated four years ago and yet, he has no job. He decided to write a placard with his name and telephone number saying he was looking for a job. He was requesting for employment. One of the media houses picked it up and the two of them were hired. I saw one of them at the Uwezo Fund. She has been hired and is working. This shows that we have a problem in this country and we are sitting on a time bomb. If we do not take care of the youth, then we are here in vain. To go a step further, the way I see it is that we will have the innovation centres with energetic youth. I go to my house and see my boys just doing marvellous things that I cannot do. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
We set up Kenyatta University which was taking care of that programme, but it died a natural death. If the Motion can be converted into a Bill, then we can have centres where those who come up with good ideas, innovations and discoveries can assemble once or twice a year to come up with what they have and then have a board to award and encourage children for whatever they have come up with. That will energise our youth to move forward because all we are trying to do is move to the next stage of our development as you rightly put it. Given those ideas, we should be able to move very fast, empower our youth and, stimulate our economic growth as fast as we can. Last but not least, I want to talk very briefly on the setting up of the so-called innovation centres. Mhe. Mwaura has just talked about it, but let us sit down and see whether we can have innovation centres where our youth can go monthly to see what they can come up with. With those few remarks, I thank Mhe. Mwaura and look forward to your Bill so that we can go to the next step. Thank you so much.
Let us have Hon. Rotino, Member for Sigor.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to join my colleagues in supporting this very important Motion. I will go ahead and say that this is a very important Motion and it should be developed as a Bill because it is long overdue. We are watching the growth of our youth and unemployment. We are watching a time bomb being developed slowly by slowly. We are not addressing it as a Government. Governments have come and gone and yet, what we hear is just rhetoric about how we will occupy our youth. We should produce a Bill that will commit the government of the day to enhance the talents that our youth have. We know that we have a lot of talented youths out there. They have developed many things. Ideas have come and gone. Ideas have come and have been copied by other people. Just about two or three months ago, a young man from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) came up with a light that scares away lions. When he developed it in a forum, people neglected it. But there was a tourist in the forum who took the telephone number of that young man, called him and took him to the United States of America (USA). Within two months, he had a forum and he has developed that wonderful light and imported it to Kenya. It is now being used by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). They are now crying and wishing that they had developed that talent because they are now paying a lot of money to use that light to scare away wild animals when tourists come. Our youths have many ideas, but we have not created the forum and atmosphere for them to develop. When some of us were growing up and were in school, we had the 4K Clubs, geography club and various scientific clubs. They were part of the curriculum that we had in our institutions. What was the reason for them? It was supposed to enhance the talent of the young men and women. But we did away with that curriculum and system of enhancing the youth. We are still crying and creating other funds that are being wasted instead of creating a system that will see the youth themselves running that system. What are we doing when we kill our technical institutes and turn them into universities? We are destroying the system. I urge my friend, Hon. Mwaura, to develop a Bill that commits the Government so that it sets aside certain amounts from the Consolidated Fund for the youth, just as we set aside 2.5 per cent for the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF). We should set aside 1 per cent from the funds and revenues the Government collects for this particular system so that every The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
university, college and county creates an innovation centre for all the youth, even those who have not gone to school. I want to cite an example. In my own community, we used to fight with our neighbours, but we are not fighting now. The young men wanted to get a weapon to fight their enemies and so, they assembled their own gun and they were able to use it to fight. If we had a centre to develop those ideas, we could have young men developing many things. Through this Motion, a Bill should be developed that commits the Government and county governments so that we have centres that can nurture those ideas that our young men have. Otherwise, we are sitting on a time bomb. We read in our newspapers about a lot of corruption in every sector. How many billions are we losing? Our young men read those things every day. They will resort to a revolution. For us to end corruption--- There will be a revolution if you are not harnessing the youth. We are not taking care of the youth. I urge my colleagues to sit down, get all those ideas that we have spoken about and put them in a Bill so that we can pass it and commit the government of the day. We will then be able to manage our youth and keep them busy because we have enough to keep them busy. With those few remarks, I beg to support the Motion.
Let us have Hon. Shakila Abdalla, Member for Lamu.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to support this very important Motion. I first want to thank Hon. Mwaura for bringing this Motion. About 70 per cent of this country’s population is made up of the youth. Unless the Government does something for the youth, it will not be very healthy. The youth will be idle. Our youths are very idle. Most of them are very educated and yet, they have no jobs. That is why some youths have turned to radicalisation, drugs and many other menaces in this country, which have contributed to many crimes. We should do something to occupy our youth so as to prevent them from committing crimes. We have our polytechnics which are not very well equipped and not doing much for our youth. We need to nurture their talents from the school level. Our children are only forced to pass examinations in schools with no idea of what to do with the certificates. They have no idea of careers because they have not been nurtured to take up what they are good in. The Government has done a lot in the field of innovation by providing funds and other projects like the National Youth Service (NYS), but that is not enough for the 70 per cent of our population. We have not empowered our youth to know how to access those funds. We should train them on how to access those funds. That money is taken back to the National Treasury and it might be benefiting the wrong people as opposed to our youth. Our youth are not even in a position to access the 30 per cent that they have been given by the Government to access tenders. They do not have any idea of accessing the capital that is already there. We should change our education system to ensure that we have innovation centres so that our teachers can identify the talents of your youth and nurture them to develop their careers. Those who have come up with innovations have not been recognised because this country has nothing to offer to our youth in terms of growing their talents. With those few remarks, I support.
Hon. Members, I will now call upon the Mover to reply. I would like to appreciate Members for showing a lot of interest in this Motion. Hon. Mwaura, you will note that all Members who have spoken to this Motion have The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
supported it. I have about 10 members who still want to speak to it. As you reply, you may wish to donate some minutes to them to contribute. You have about eight minutes to reply.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wish to donate one minute to the following Members: Hon. Kiuna, Hon. Mwaita, Hon. Musimba and Hon. (Ms.) Mitaru.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to congratulate the Mover of this Motion. For this Motion to go through, we need to set a special fund for the talented youth in our country. That special fund should be well managed and maintained. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
We shall have Hon. Patrick Musimba.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I will move straight to the point. I thank Hon. Isaac Mwaura for coming up with this Motion. I will be brief. I think the major beneficiaries of innovation in this nation are the private sector people because the Government’s role is that of an enabler. As the corporate Kenya has special funds earmarked for corporate social responsibility, I urge the corporate sector out there to set aside a portion of their money to boost innovations. That is because that industry runs in hundreds of billions. It will not hurt but it will boost this particular point.
We shall now have Hon. Mwaita.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wish to take this opportunity to thank Hon. Mwaura for coming up with this timely Motion. I wish to ask him, like other colleagues, to move quickly and develop a Bill to assist our youth, knowing that our youth comprise about 70 per cent of our population. I am saying this because in my constituency, we have a group of youths who have developed an anti-virus software that has been adopted by over 20,000 users. They have been recognised by Microsoft from the United States of America and yet, our Government has not done anything. Those youths are between the ages of 25 and 30 and they are already doing very well. This is timely and we should support it. Finally, I want to say that all innovations should be patented. The Government should set aside funds for patenting all innovations that have been done by the youth to improve our country.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for this chance. Thank you my brother for bringing this Motion. Most of the young people and not just the ones who have gone to school come up with innovations which we borrow from. We want this nation called Kenya to support the young people in this nation because when we do that, the mothers of Kenya will have educated and supported young people. We will have mature men and women who are future leaders of Kenya and who have been recognised and supported. That is how development will come up very fast.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I recognise the interest of Hon. Beatrice Nkatha, Hon. Jacob Macharia, Hon. Rachel Ameso and others but, unfortunately, because of time, we hope and believe that when we develop the Bill, we will have another opportunity to contribute. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
It has been very well stated by all those great Members of this august House of what needs to be done. By the way, let me take this opportunity to underscore the selflessness of Members of Parliament in this great country. Those are individuals recognised by nobody. They are individuals who go out of their way to use their resources. They become sacrificial lambs. They even sacrifice their own families and all they get are insults and name-calling. Those are gallant people and from the voices that we have heard on this Floor is the desire to ensure that all constituents in all the 290 constituencies, the special interest groups and the 47 counties that, indeed, our young people need to be given an opportunity. When I look at Bunifu anti-virus from Hon. Mwaita’s constituency that has a user base of 20,000 and has been taken over by county government, I am encouraged that our young people, given an opportunity, can do it. We owe it unto ourselves to create an imaginable future for all of us. We owe it unto ourselves to attain the sustainable development goals of the United Nations (UN) by ensuring that we combat poverty. Indeed, one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls that we need not leave anyone behind and we should start with the furthest. Our youth are the ones that we leave behind. Youth is not a stage that is ossified in history; it is a transitionary mechanism. It therefore means that even in terms of distribution of resources, we need to ensure that we empower them because when we do so, we are empowering our future. Now, we have a very big population of young people. It means that in 50 years to come, our country will have a very high dependency of old people who will require to be taken care of. Our social welfare system will not be able to sustain if we do not empower them so that they can be employed, so that they can save and so that our country can move forward. We will fall through the trap that we are seeing in Europe, where productivity has gone down. We cannot invent a new landscape for Kenya. We cannot go to fight Somalia so that we can have more land mass. But we can extend our acreage by exploiting the minds of the young people through empowering them, by mentoring them, by giving them opportunities, by not asking them who their fathers are, by not asking them how mad they are, but energising them so that tomorrow we can also be secure. I am encouraged that there are many young people who are not giving up, who are following those proceedings and are sure that they will also be there to ensure that the ideas do not die. We must provide that leadership. We must urge the Government - because Parliament is itself an arm of Government - not just to whine each and every other time because we have the power and the capacity to change our society. In fact, leadership most invariably has capacity to transform society and good leadership is not leading from behind.
Hon. Mwaura, you still have one minute.
Thank you. Good leadership is not leading from behind but leading from the front with the agenda of the people. Let us rise to the occasion and speak to the issues of our young people and make this country a better place; the country that we are going to be proud of fighting corruption, deficiencies and nepotism so that everybody has an equal chance. Thank you and God bless you.
Hon. Members, for obvious reasons, Mwaura’s Motion will not be put to Question. It will be done at a later date. The time being 1.00 p.m., the House stands adjourned until this afternoon at 2.30 p.m. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The House rose at 1.02 p.m.
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