President Uhuru Kenyatta challenged young people to make good use of government grants to start businesses or the funds will be retained by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
Speaking on Wednesday, February 24, during the launch of the third strategic plan of the youth enterprise development fund, Kenyatta suggested that if the youth do not take up the grants and loans, the government will find other use for the money.
“Sasa vijana mkiambiwa BBI ni ya Uhuru, hii pesa mnataka ikae kwa mfuko yenu ama mnataka KRA ichukue? Wenzetu mjue kujisaidia na kusimamia haki zenu sio kudanganywa.
(You have been told that BBI is meant to benefit Uhuru, do you want these funds to remain in your pockets or you want KRA to take it? Fellow Kenyans, you help yourself if you know your rights and when you don’t believe the lies…) Uhuru said to the applause of the crowd, at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Wednesday, February 24.
The remarks created a buzz among Kenyans online on social media who lauded the President for his remarks.
Further, the Head of State unveiled 750 winners in the just concluded MbelenaBiz competition held under the Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities Project.
Uhuru noted that Ksh1.3 billion would be injected into Kenya’s youth economy, where Ksh900 million would go to 250 youths as grants, with each of the entrepreneurs receiving an award of Ksh3.6 million to finance their entrepreneurial projects.
“The balance of Ksh450 million will be given as grant to the 500 winners and each of these winners will get a total of Ksh900,000 to develop their initiative and ideas,” Uhuru said.
Further, the President lauded the Kazi Mtaani Programme where 280,000 youths benefitted from the programme launched last year. He noted that the government is working on extending the program in order to benefit the youth.
While launching the third cycle of the youth fund, he noted that the aim was to address the challenges of youth unemployment through entrepreneurship.
“To date, the fund has supported 2 million youth and has disbursed loans worth Ksh13.5 billion. This has been achieved by revolving Ksh4.5 billion from the National treasury.
“The youth fund has disbursed a total of Ksh500 million in loans since the onset of the pandemic in March,” Uhuru stated.
In a bid to ensure that the youth fund aligns with the expectations of the youth in terms of entrepreneurship, Uhuru said that revolving funds would rise from Ksh4.5 billion to Ksh5.5 billion. Further, loan disbursement would rise from Ksh13.5 billion to Ksh16 billion covering up to 2024.
In closing remarks, Uhuru urged the youth to adopt a savings culture in order to increase their chances of financial independence.
“I want all the young people of Kenya to know that with commitment, discipline and consistency, you can achieve what appears to be impossible,” Uhuru stated.
Youths applauding President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech at Moi Kasarani stadium on Wednesday, February 24.