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Uhuru appointed Unicef’s global champion for youth empowerment

President Uhuru Kenyatta has accepted a UN agency’s request to be the global champion for youth empowerment.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Henrietta Fore said the President’s role will include advocating promotion of universal healthcare, education and nutrition.

Making the request when she paid a courtesy call on President Kenyatta on Friday at State House, Nairobi, Ms Fore assured the country of support in achieving universal healthcare.

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Universal health coverage forms one of the key pillars of President Kenyatta’s big four development agenda that includes job creation, manufacturing, affordable housing, food and nutritional security.

Ms Fore commended President Kenyatta for the big four agenda, terming it a well-thought out plan that would project Kenya as a model in the region especially in the provision of healthcare to children.

She said her organisation would work with the government in operations and monitoring to ensure the country succeeds and the health model could be replicated in the region.

As UNICEF develops the 2018-2022 country programme for Kenya, Ms Fore said, it will be aligned with the country’s aspirations on primary healthcare, a major driver in achieving universal healthcare coverage.

President Kenyatta and Ms Fore also discussed education, with the President affirming his focus to ensure 100 per cent primary school transition rates.

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“Education is key for youth development. It is a major catalyst for equity and social stability,” President Kenyatta said.

He urged UNICEF to also work with the government in supporting the urban and peri-urban poor in education, health and nutrition.

“This group always tends to be forgotten in the assumption that they are well off,” President Kenyatta said.

Ms Fore explained that UNICEF is also interested in promoting child education after primary school, saying her organisation would work with the government to improve that category.

“We can work in partnership to nurture talents so that children and teenagers between the age of 10 and 18 can be given life skills,” Ms Fore said.

The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretaries Cleopa Mailu (Health) and Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs).

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