Why August 9th is a Real Date With Our Destiny

In 1995, Kenya was among more than 180 coun­tries that adopt­ed the Bei­jing Dec­la­ra­tion and Plat­form for Action on Gen­der Equal­i­ty. In doing so, these nations com­mit­ted to the sys­temic pro­tec­tion and empow­er­ment of women. Twen­ty-sev­en years lat­er, the Kenyan woman has made giant strides for­ward, but she still has a long way to go.

Polit­i­cal­ly, women evi­dent­ly hold only 21.6% of seats in par­lia­ment. Social­ly, 41% of Kenyan women have expe­ri­enced phys­i­cal or sex­u­al vio­lence from their hus­bands or part­ners in their life­time. Eco­nom­i­cal­ly, women account­ed for 61.9 per­cent of the jobs that were lost in 2020. Clear­ly, mil­lions of our women are still wait­ing for that elu­sive bright future. They will be among the 22,120,458 reg­is­tered vot­ers who will hope­ful­ly troop to 46,232 polling sta­tions on August 9th. In the pri­va­cy of that vot­ing booth, the Kenyan woman should vote for lead­ers who will great­ly aid her jour­ney towards sus­tain­able polit­i­cal, social and eco­nom­ic empowerment.

The Kenyan youth will be arriv­ing at those vot­ing booths in a large­ly dis­il­lu­sioned state as IEBC revealed that the num­ber of youths reg­is­tered to vote in 2022 stands at 39.84 per­cent which is a decline of 5.27 per­cent against 2017.”

The 2019 Cen­sus revealed that 5,341,182 or 38.9 per­cent of the 13,777,600 young Kenyans are job­less. This num­ber is undoubt­ed­ly high­er now due to COVID’s adverse eco­nom­ic impact. Although only a com­par­a­tive­ly low­er num­ber of these youth will vote, they still have the pow­er to elect lead­ers who will deci­sive­ly address their eco­nom­ic predica­ment. Lead­ers who will over­see poli­cies and invest­ments that will cre­ate mil­lions of new jobs every year.

Last year, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Author­i­ty of Kenya revealed that there were near­ly 60 mil­lion mobile phones in Kenya. Out of these, 26.0 mil­lion were smart­phones. Trag­i­cal­ly, not a sin­gle of those smart­phones was at least assem­bled in Kenya. If just 10 mil­lion of these smart­phones were man­u­fac­tured here in Kenya, investors would have made bil­lions and cre­at­ed thou­sands of jobs. Will the next Pres­i­dent and lead­ers enact leg­is­la­tion that will boost such invest­ment lead­ing to unprece­dent­ed cre­ation of jobs?

How will these envi­sioned poli­cies and polit­i­cal action final­ly deci­sive­ly impact the Kenyan farmer? Time is ripe for the Kenyan farmer to play in the big league. After all,

The 2021 Glob­al Hunger Index ranked Kenya 87th out of 116 coun­tries. It described our lev­el of hunger as seri­ous. While this is unfor­tu­nate, it is also an oppor­tu­ni­ty for our farm­ers to pro­duce suf­fi­cient food so that we can become more food secure. How­ev­er, they can only do so through cli­mate smart agri­cul­ture. The Unit­ed Nations Inter­na­tion­al Fund for Agri­cul­tur­al Devel­op­ment (IFAD) found that every dol­lar invest­ed into cli­mate smart agri­cul­ture dou­bles returns for farm­ers. As such, the mil­lions of small­hold­er farm­ers who will enter polling booths on 9th August, should cast their votes for lead­ers who will boost cli­mate smart agriculture.

Fur­ther, accord­ing to the World Bank, 18.8 mil­lion Kenyans live below the pover­ty line of $1.9 (Sh226) a day. With the cur­rent high cost of liv­ing, how is such a Kenyan sup­posed to sur­vive when even their health­care and qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion are beyond reach. This is the plight of near­ly 19 mil­lion fel­low Kenyans.

Hon­est­ly, we the reg­is­tered vot­ers can either lift all Kenyans from pover­ty or push us deep­er beneath that dread­ed pover­ty line. We can change the plight of our women and young peo­ple. The ball is in our court. We can either score own goals by vot­ing for short­sight­ed, lead­ers or score a hat trick by vot­ing for ser­vant lead­ers with pas­sion­ate will­ing­ness to change our Nation. Think green, act green.

About Dr. Kalua Green

He is the Chief Stew­ard of Green Africa Group, a con­glom­er­ate that was envi­sioned in 1991 to con­nect, pro­duce and impact var­i­ous aspi­ra­tions of human­i­ty through Sus­tain­able Mobil­i­ty & Safe­ty Solu­tions, Eco­pre­neur­ship & Agribusi­ness, Ship­ping & Logis­tics, Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Ini­tia­tives, as well as Hos­pi­tal­i­ty & fur­nish­ings sectors

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