Poverty plays a major role in pushing so many young people into violent extremism. It is, therefore, important to talk about access to funds for our youth
Covid-19 was an event in history that was never anticipated. The pandemic has completely changed the world and shifted economic goalposts. People around the world did not know how to react toward it and there was confusion all over.
In Kenya, when the pandemic first hit, many sectors ended up reacting towards it. Even as the vaccine keeps on being rolled out, we are still not sure how to safely handle it. The economy was hard-hit. Millions of businesses shut down and millions of people lost their jobs.
In the recently released Economic Survey report, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said that the Kenyan economy lost at least 780,000 jobs due to the pandemic. The World Bank puts the number at 2 million.
As people lost jobs and as frustration and devastation increased, violent extremism increased too. Young people had to find ways to survive and the majority became vulnerable to being recruited into joining extremists.
Most of these youth are promised better life when joining these groups. They are brainwashed and turned into things worse than animals.
“Poverty plays a major role in pushing so many young people into violent extremism. It is, therefore, important to talk about access to funds for our youth,” said Mr. Kevin Osido, the Executive Director at the County Governance Watch (CGW).
According to Mr. Osido, the youth need to be economically empowered to avoid them falling for extremists. “When they are economically empowered, they become independent and made more sound decisions,” he added.
Violent extremism and terrorism remain existential threats not only to Kenya but to the world at large. President Uhuru Kenyatta issued an Executive Order that all County Governments come up with County Action Plans to Prevent and Counter this vice.
In collaboration with other actors, the Government is implementing the County Action Plans in all counties to counter violent extremism. This is augmented by sustained counter-terrorism operations by security agencies.
At the same time, the Nairobi County Action Plan (CAP) for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) was launched by the Cabinet Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Interior, and Coordination of National Government and Citizen Services H.E. Hussein Dado.
During the launch, the Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission, Nairobi, Mr. Julius Court, Mr. Njenga Miiri, Head of Prevention, NCTC, Ms. Flora Mworoa, County Commissioner – Nairobi among others on September 29, 2020, attended.
The launch was supported by the CREATE Programme that continues to support CGW interventions with the County Engagement Forum (CEF).
The Plan underscores the magnitude of the threat posed by Violent Extremism (VE) and the need to adopt robust measures to ensure safe and secure environments.
Like any other county in Kenya, CVE is an urgent issue that requires the audience and engagement of all relevant stakeholders.
Security agencies alone cannot eradicate VE and radicalisation as is normally misconceived. It is, for this reason, that Nairobi CAP was developed through a participatory process bringing on board both state and nonstate actors.
The Nairobi CAP, therefore, provides a roadmap for implementing specific actions that will see the incorporation of multiple stakeholders in P/CVE including harnessing of diverse capacities and approaches.
To help fight extremism, the County Governance Watch (CGW), through its Defend My Future Campaign, is the CSO-Lead for the implementation of the CAP through the support of the County Engagement Forum (CEF).
The Forum is co-chaired by the County Commissioner and the Governor, as mandated and coordinated by the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC); has been engaging with a myriad of stakeholders and developed a monitoring and evaluation tool to guide on the Outcome, Key Results (OKRs) of the 5 CAP Pillars, being Education, Ideological, Political, Economic and Law Enforcement.
This morning, The High-Level Forum for Affirmative Action Fund CEOs is being held on at Fourpoints by Sheraton Hotel, Hurlighum, Nairobi.
The objective of this meeting is to refresh the Chief Executive Officers of the Kenya Affirmative Action Funds on Kenya’s threat of terrorism and its global, regional and local pathways to violent extremism.
Further it will also be an opportunity to review the County Action Plan (CAP) and the developed Objective Key Results and Implementation Framework towards mainstreaming affirmative action funds into the National and County Governments programmes.