The importance of peace and stability in a country cannot be overemphasized if any country is to attain sustainable growth and development in all spheres.
As part of its contribution towards promoting peace and stability in our Nation, the University of Nairobi hosted the First National Student’s Convention on Youth, Peace and Elections from September 1st-3rd, 2021. The event was held in partnership with the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, National Youth Council, Universities and College Students’ Peace Association of Kenya (UCSPAK), Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), the United Nations, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Commission for University Education (CUE), Safeworld among other stakeholders.
This initiative was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In his remarks, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth, Joe Mucheru highlighted that “the project brings young people from across the tribal and political divide, to not only promote dialogue and peace, but also to develop cohesive and resilient relationships that promote mechanisms to resolve conflict peacefully. Identifying peace advocates from universities and encouraging dialogue, is a sure way of fostering peace for the youth of this country since the youth epitomize the highest ideals that we as a country aspire to”.
In his opening remarks, Archbishop (Emeritus) Dr. Eliud Wabukala highlighted some statistics sourced from the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, ‘60% of the Kenyan population is made up of youths, and it is estimated that more than 55% of the youths are in learning institutions”. This therefore underscores the need to focus on this critical mass of our nation to preach the gospel of peace and reconciliation.
The UoN Dean of Students, Mr. Johnson Kinyua who represented the Vice Chancellor at the event called upon the youth to be agents of peace and ambassadors of anti-corruption. The University of Nairobi is committed to churning out graduates who uphold high standards of integrity, professionalism and excellence in all their undertaking both locally and internationally. This convention went a long way in promoting this agenda to ensure that we have peace and stability in our country.
In this 3 day event, the youth and various partners present engaged in very fruitful, open dialogues and candid discussions which will play an important role in advancing the peace agenda ahead of the 2022 general elections. It is only through peaceful and inclusive societies that sustainable development can be guaranteed in our country.