Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has made a new appeal to industrialization in Kenya in a sequel to a series of vision boards, which the party says will be the backbone of its election campaigns in 2022.
Just days after unveiling a rural economy plan – which Vice President William Ruto and his allies say was an attempt to copy his Hustler Nation mantra – Mr Odinga wants Kenya to focus on identifying again focused on skills to revive the Made in Kenya brand.
In particular, he would like to see the formation of a personnel development body which, in his opinion, should be devoted to identifying qualified young people, organizing national qualification competitions and sending the best to compete with the world.
“The human resource development agency will maintain a database of skilled youth, seek assistance including expanding specific incentives for small and medium-sized businesses run by artisans and artisans, and ensure that their passions become professions, industries and jobs for the nation “said Mr Odinga said in a message he posted on his social media pages.
The panel, he said, will incentivize existing industries to give rewards and scholarships to those with technical skills who wish to further perfect them.
“The panel will establish a tradition of apprenticeship training to help skilled youth adapt their skills to the changing times.”
The ODM leader wants Kenyan youth to be sent to the World Skills Competition next October, which he believes is the only way to keep up with the manufacturing giants.
“Qualified youngsters must be identified in the same way as we select athletes and footballers for the Olympic Games and other international competitions,” said Odinga.
“As we store data and support capabilities, we need to open paths for steady flow. We have to create and unify vocational high schools. We need clear parallel educational paths like that. “
Kenya, said the ex-prime minister, has to compete in the biennial Olympics since 1950 to compete and improve with the best and to help turn passion into a profession.
“Developed nations like Japan, Canada, Germany and Korea have invited their youngsters to this competition to demonstrate their skills, starting with basics like technicians, tailors, cooks, hairdressers, craftsmen, artisans. They graduated from machines and manufacturing, then computers, information processing and IT. There are no shortcuts to development. And when the ideas of these young people win medals, their countries accept them, support them and turn their passions into a profession. “
Mr Odinga regrets that little or no effort has been made to encourage skills development once students leave school.
“The HR department should deal with this. More importantly, we need a concerted campaign against the social mindset that has a dire view of skilled workers, ”said the ODM leader.
He insisted that the only way to make Made in Kenya the rule rather than the exception is to focus on skilled workers and artisans.
“We have to recognize that the people who do the fine suits and dresses, handbags, expensive watches, stylish shoes, nice music, movies, chairs, and all the other things we love and import are essentially artisans and skilled workers who Have chosen to improve skills, “he said.
Even then, Odinga said, Kenya still needs people to graduate to office jobs.
“We still need professional degrees so we can have doctors, lawyers or accountants, but given the high unemployment or underemployment of college graduates and the fact that many companies are using technology to do the work that people used to do, is one.” System that mixes skills and knowledge, the way to industrialization, jobs and the future, “he said.