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PATHWAYS TO BLUE ECONOMY-CREATE TASKFORCE TO PROMOTE YOUTH INCLUSION

Participants at the Pathways to the Blue Economy Conference, UN-Habitat in Nairobi

By Winnie Kabintie

Youth participants at the recently concluded Pathways to the Blue Economy Conference, held at the UN-Habitat in Nairobi, have called for the establishment of a taskforce to steer youth inclusion in the Blue Economy.

According to the participants of the two-day conference, the “Pathways Taskforce for Youth and Blue Economy” will go a long way in creating a platform and mechanism to mobilize governments, local authorities, the private sector and other stakeholders to support the youth.

The taskforce’s overall goal will be to take forward the great work of the Youth and Blue Economy I and II conferences and ensure that youth in Kenya and across the globe are fully and meaningfully engaged in the Blue Economy” the Youth representatives noted.

Raphael Obonyo, the Convener of the National Youth Congress & former UN Youth advisor, emphasized on the need for the country to create an enabling environment for the youth to undertake opportunities in the Blue Economy considering that it is an emerging frontier that is taking off at a time when we are contending with a high rate of unemployment.

“The youth have said that they were left out on land resources, and they don’t want to be left out in the Blue Economy”, said Obonyo while making the opening remarks at the conference.

The  Pathway to Blue Economy-Private Sector Jobs Showcase was a two-day Conference organized by the UN-Habitat, The Canadian High Commission and The Youth Congress, with the aim of showcasing Blue Economy job opportunities in the private sector. It was the second conference of its kind by the organizers, succeeding a Pre-Conference for youth in the Blue Economy, which had been organized ahead of the major Blue Economy conference hosted by Kenya, in partnership with Japan and Canada in 2018.

The Blue Economy youth conferences aim to provide forums for the youth to learn and share ideas on how to enhance participation for sustainable economic gain in the Blue Economy. Speakers at the events urged the youth to come up with innovative solutions and to also go the extra mile and move their proposals from the “idea” stage to prototypes.

ROLE OF PRIVATE SECTOR IN PROVIDING JOBS FOR THE YOUTH IN BLUE ECONOMY

UN-Habitat Executive Director, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif

The UN-Habitat and Canada’s High Commissioner to Kenya, H.E. Lisa Stedelbauer, affirmed their commitments to ensure that the Blue Economy provides adequate opportunities for young people and women in Kenya.

“UN-Habitat will continue working with diverse stakeholders to ensure that the Blue Economy provides adequate opportunities for young men” Said Victor Kisob, Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat

Mr Kisob further noted that the private sector provides a crucial role in creating jobs for the youth in the Blue Economy and called for a strong engagement of the sector.

“The role of the private sector is extremely important in addressing some of the challenges that youth face. Without full engagement of the private sector, the problem of unemployment – that remains a big burden to many young people, will be hard to address” he said.

Canada’s High Commissioner to Kenya, H.E. Lisa Stedelbauer echoed Mr Kisob’s sentiments and said that partnerships with the private sector will help provide jobs for the youth.

“Did you know that there are 350, 000 jobs in the Blue Economy in Canada? Through partnerships with the private sector we can help to create jobs for the youth in the Blue Economy” she said.

KENYA LEADS ACTION ON SUSTAINABLE BLUE ECONOMY FOR THE COMMONWEALTH BLUE CHARTER

Kenya has demonstrated its leadership role in championing the sustainable Blue Economy and is one of 12 countries that has stepped forward to lead ‘action groups’ under the Blue Charter – a commitment made by the 53 Commonwealth member states to work together to solve ocean-related problems.

 “The Commonwealth Blue Charter All Champions meeting has provided the time and space for Kenya to once again demonstrate its leadership role in championing the sustainable Blue Economy,” said Salim M. Salim, the head of delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The blue economy is the future, and as the Commonwealth, we must work together to find ways to take advantage of the ocean’s vast resources in a sustainable and responsible manner.” He added.

NUMEROUS OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH IN THE BLUE ECONOMY

 

 

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