On Saturday 8th February 2014 Leaders, Politicians and students gathered in Coventry University to celebrate Kenya`s 50th anniversary and launch the first Diaspora Student Conference hosted by the Kenya High Commission. The conference was an informative and amazing experience for us all and for those who attended.
The theme of the Conference was “SKILLED MANPOWER,” this was definitely suitable as we look at the fast paced growth Kenya is experiencing as essential infrastructures and policies are strengthened: Kenyans are undertaking the biggest change seen since Jamhuri day itself. With Graduates in the united Kingdom struggling to find stable employment it was a refreshing tone to hear professional speakers motivating the youth. “you are the future Managers, future CEO`s and future leaders- Its time we help you get there”
Counselor of Education Margaret Lesuuda
Who orchestrated the eventful day which consisted of essential facts, entertainment and traditional Kenyan food. Young professionals from across the united kingdom got a chance to engage with each other network over lunch and various activities that took place after the event concluded. Coventry University was filled with Young photographers, students and dignitaries.
The Day was openedwith a prayer and word of encouragement by Reverend/ Dr Lukas Njenga CEO of Heart for the City and Visionary behind Diaspora Global Village which launches this summer at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
He was supported by members of Diaspora Youth Empowerment who performed a vibrant Song titled “I know who I am.” (by Sinach)15 year old Tracie Nyaga led the perfect song choice for the occasion who’s opening line was
“we are a chosen generation”
The session that followed consisted of an array of speakers from Kenya and the Diaspora some of which include:
Dr. David Pilsbury, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for international Development
The Vice-Chancellor greeted us all with a warm welcome from the Chancellor of Coventry University. Dr. Pillsbury stated that they have 800 students from Kenya and they are looking forward to great progress and working in partnership with Kenyan students.
Alex Vines OBE, African study center
Looking on to the next 50 years, Mr. Alex Vines gave a presentation on the future Kenya as the pace and changes in the nation. Looking at Kenya’s future, Mr. Vines presentation included study research which showed that immense change is anticipated as Kenya’s economic growth rapidly rises.
H E Ephiram Ngare, Ambassador.
The high commissioner stated that numerous projects involve technology and engineering which means skilled manpower is required. He expressed the hunger for leadership skills and urged students to work hard and invest back In Kenya.
Prof Jacob Kaimenyi, Cabinet secretary Ministry of Education
Prof Kaimenyi Gave a presentation on reforms in higher education and opportunities for Kenyan students in Diaspora. Education should be priority to promote Kenyan development.
Key factors presented
- Transforming education in Kenya with new Education reform models, there is high social demand, and desire from the country
- Skilled Man power- to consider development of human resources for economic growth
Prof. David Some, CEO commission for University Education
- Strategic location
- Social, quality of life and standard of living
Charles Ringera , CEO Higher Education
The presentation showed effective funding and loans to student in higher education. In all Mr Charles Ringera stated that a loan is available for every Kenyan enrolled in higher education.
Mission: To provide affordable loans to Kenyans pursuing Higher Education through adequate mobilization and prudent management of resources
More information can be found at http://www.helb.co.ke/
Sam Ochieng’, CEO SACOMA
Mr Ochieng’ was focused on Investment and starting up business in the UK and Kenya, Mr Ochieng was very informative and detailed as he focused on progressing future ventures in Kenya. Some of the key factors that he pointed out targeted student progress, to build up their career and to become successful entrepreneurs.
Prof. S. Marwa, Kimathi University
Prof. Kimathi emphasized the importance of exporting our ideas and skills back home. He addressed the progress in which is expected to come from youth people. In his presentation he stated that the government min Kenya is now funding youth projects, which is a substantial amount to the next 3 years for youth enterprises. He stated on the need of collaboration partnership to help carryout studies which will help address problems and improve livelihood of our people.
Councillor Elizabeth Kangethe , London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.
- Learn from each other
- Be diverse
- Volunteer (upgrade your skills to maximize chances of your progress
Mr Marlon Maloba, student at Coventry University
Spoke on challenges faced by Kenyan students in the UK and called for events such as these.
Mr Enock Kiprono
A driven businessman with a primary focus on empowering entrepreneurs in business growth and development
Stessy Nyaga gave the final vote of thanks who emphasized how important it is that events like this occur and as a representative of youth in the diaspora Miss Nyaga recognized that it is this type of proactive government that enables successful and globally competitive leaders. The organisation has already been approached by youth asking when the next conference will be held.
In conclusion The conference was a successful day that left all of us craving to do more. Diaspora youth Empowerment promotes Integrating and inviting Kenyan Youth into the community by utilizing and developing their existing skills into events/ meetings such as these. May we continue to work hard and together rise as a unified and positive nation.