Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned that Government officials who fail to pay the youth, women and persons with disability under the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) on time will be sacked.

The President – who reassured of the Government’s commitment to empowering young people – said AGPO is now law and has to be adhered to at all times.

The AGPO law stipulates that 30 per cent of all Government procurement be allocated to the youth, women and people with disability.

“AGPO is now law. It is not a question of policy. I promise you will not hide or be transferred. You will leave and create opportunity for those who are willing to abide by the law,” President Kenyatta told Government officials.

President Kenyatta was speaking at State House, Nairobi, when he addressed a successful State House Youth Summit organised by the Presidential Communication team and the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs.

The Head of State pointed out that the Government’s transformational agenda will not be achieved if young people are denied opportunities and are not mainstreamed in the empowerment initiatives.

“We must empower our young people today because if we don’t take advantage of this biggest single asset that we have as a nation, which is our young people today, we will have no future,” the Head of State said.

He added: “This is a transformation that we need to see. And this transformation cannot just be about words, it has to be about action.”

He emphasised that his administration has continued to put affairs of young people at the centre its programs.

The President also challenged Kenyans, including the media, to focus on projecting the country in positive light.

“We have to change our mind-set even about our own country. Kenyans sometimes are the most negative about their country even when foreigners are positive about Kenya,” President Kenyatta pointed out.

Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki disclosed that her Ministry is in the process of reviewing the National Youth Policy to effectively address problems facing the youth in the country.

“Investing in young people is not only right but it is also the smart thing to do,” said the CS.

She said her Ministry, through affirmative action empowerment programs, has enabled the youth to engage in viable economic activities.

The Cabinet Secretary said the Government has disbursed Ksh 5.35 billion through Uwezo Fund, Ksh 11.7 billion through the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and Ksh 8.96 billion has been disbursed through the Women Enterprise Fund.

Other initiatives by the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, the Cabinet Secretary Cabinet said, include the setting up 40 Huduma Centres in 36 Counties where specific youth services are being offered.