What is International Youth Day? We celebrate this day to recognize and applaud youth actions and initiatives geared towards implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The theme this year is “Youth Engagement for Global Action”. We believe that engaging the youth in formal political spaces will increase the actualization of democracy in its fullest sense in Kenya.  The youth need to be assertive to get these positions, which will enhance the efficiency of political processes and contribute to sustainable policies and legislative reforms in the country.

Following the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is vivid that concerted youth engagement and participation during this period is crucial. This year’s theme addresses the need to enable the engagement of youth by making local, national and global institutions more inclusive for the purpose of strengthening their capacity (and relevance) to achieve global action.  (Extracted from United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs)

We encourage youths to be more proactive in public policy engagements and call for implementation of the same.  This will ultimately have a ripple effect to formulation of good laws and policies on a global scale.

Young people are also actively seeking justice for current and historical injustices. Access to justice is a basic principle of the rule of law. In the absence of access to justice, people are unable to have their voice heard, exercise their rights, challenge discrimination or hold decision-makers accountable. The youth have a chance to take part in formulation of future Kenya’s strategic plans, and programmes tailored for justice and legislative reform to address some of the challenges we are facing as a country. These challenges include; police brutality and impunity for perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence. This participation can be materialized through legal education, active engagements in public participation on development and reform of national policies and frameworks on legal aid.

As we celebrate this day, let us remember to exercise compassion, empathy, gratitude and love towards all, for we are all citizens of one universe. We urge everyone to continue to stay safe during this pandemic.

“When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts” Dalai Lama



Wendy Muganda, CPM (MTI) | Managing Partner, Kijala & Muganda Advocates | Consultant in Public Policy and Strategic Conflict Management | muganda@kmadvocates.net

The writer engages in independent public policy analysis.

For more information or clarification kindly contact muganda@kmadvocates.net