NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said the Kenya Kwanza administration will be youth-oriented, promising to ensure more jobs are created for them.

Speaking on Monday during the launch of the Kenya Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program (K-YEEAP) at Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi, the Deputy President said President William Ruto had placed the youths at the centre of his government and would ensure their needs are addressed.

He added that government programmes will be structured towards creating jobs for the youths.

“If you want to be a friend of President Ruto, you just have to tell him the number of job opportunities you have for the youths and you will be his friend,” he said.

The administration will also smoothen the path for the private sector to expand initiatives meant to deal with unemployment, the DP added.

“We owe tons of gratitude to our young people who overwhelmingly voted us into office. We must return a hand,” he said.

K-YEEAP is sponsored by the Kenya Private Sector (Kepsa) and aims at creating at least one million jobs for youths every year for the next five years within the private sector.

“We must work closely with our youths. They called me Riggy G because of their desire to be closer to me. We must be close to them so we know their way of thinking and what they want,” he said.

The DP also challenged companies to ensure they widened their boardrooms to accommodate young people saying it’s one way to mentor them as they prepare to serve in bigger roles in the society.

“We want a situation where there are two, three or more under 35s in the Boards of Directors. This will ensure the youths are part of the decision making process,” he said.

Youth, Sports and Arts Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba and East African Community ASALs and Regional Development counterpart Rebecca Miano accompanied him.

Namwamba said he had been tasked to find numerous ways to deal with youth unemployment, promising to work harder to deal with the menace.

“I am under express instructions from the President and Deputy President to manage the youth affairs without any box completely and I’m going to do it,” the CS, who took over office last week, said.

Kepsa Chairperson Flora Mutahi said they were ready to work hand-in-hand with the Ruto administration to create more jobs for Kenyan youths.

“We will play our role in creating employment opportunities. We want to create one million jobs every year for the next five years,” she said.

By Fred Odanga.