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Integrity in public Leadership: The Youth Senate-Kenya signs an MoU with SGC

The youth is at the heart of Strathmore University’s mission which is to provide all round quality education in an atmosphere of freedom and responsibility; excellence in teaching, research and scholarship; ethical and social development; and service to society. In this line, the Strathmore Governance Centre (SGC) is committed to promote ethical principles that guide every governing task, policy and procedure requiring the enhancement of humanism and integrity. The core activities of SGC consist of research, publication of research findings, dialogue and exchange with similar institutions and other stakeholders, and developing education programmes in governance.


Owing to the scarcity of youth studies in the region, SGC is aiming at contributing to the reduction of this gap, particularly in the area of building the youth’s capacity for responsible citizenship and leadership. The larger project about this involves a baseline survey covering the state of the youth today, the type of access to their rights they have, the opportunities implied for them in the structures of governance in the new constitution and finally how prepared they are to assume the responsibilities that come along with their human rights.


The survey was done earlier this year and its finding presented at a conference in October. Now another component of the same project is coming to life and it is a training module for Youth Leaders on Integrity in Citizenship and Leadership. It will start with the leaders of the Youth Senate Kenya. The interest of SGC in this area converges with that of the Youth Senate, a nonpartisan Youth Organisation engaged in promoting patriotism and leadership. It seeks to find the conducive environment where the youth can be equipped to take part in identification, design, development and implementation of constructive initiatives geared towards solving governance challenges facing the youth.


The building up towards an agreement between SGC and the Youth Senate was a result of discussions between the two parties, which started at the recently concluded Youth Unemployment and Citizenship Conference, attended by, among other young people, some of the Youth Senate Leaders including its President, Mr. Gideon Keter and Newton Khamasi, the current Speaker. 


The object of the MoU signed between the parties is a series of training sessions in Responsible Citizenship and Leadership, which will be followed by very specific work based assignments for each participants. SGC’s program titled “Responsible Citizenship and Leadership” content outlines areas such as personal development of a citizen and leader with a focus on integrity. It was designed by Dr. Kankindi who is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Research Fellow at SGC. As the content shows, the program responds to a common aim of both the Youth Senate and SGC to foster the value of hard work and integrity in the Youth generally, and specifically the Young men and women who are part of the Youth Senate network as they are leaders in their communities and have a great outreach all the way to the grassroots level across the Nation.


The fields identified by SGC, which meet the Youth Senate’s needs assessment, cover the History of Citizenship and Leadership; the Principles of Personal and Public Integrity; Constitutionalism and Democracy in Devolved Systems of Governance; Private and Public Financial Literacy; and Economics of Community Development. The training module, which lasts 5 days, will be offered three times in the course of 2015 for a total number of about 145 Youth Leaders from all over the country. Under the main Youth and Citizenship project, more research is underway and will expand to reflect the impact of the training on participants and their communities, as well as the rate of solving the identified challenges.