Kevin Kocheli

Kenya: Youth get a seat in budget making forums

Collins Baswony Kenya, News, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Youth Empowerment

Three young people have been appointed to top budget making organs in Kenya.

Kevin Kocheli (Trans Nzoia County), Felix Magut (Nandi County), and Andrew Wachelon (West Pokot County) will sit in the County Budget and Economic Forums (CBEFs) in their counties for the next five years.

Felix Magur

Felix Magut is one of DSW’s family planning youth champions from Nandi County in Kenya. PHOTO/DSW

 

Kevin Kocheli

Kevin Kocheli is one of DSW’s family planning youth champions from Trans Nzoia County in Kenya. PHOTO/DSW

The county budget and economic forum is designed to function as a financial and economic management think-tank for county government in Kenya.

The forums are supposed to be used by the county governor to identify county priorities and budget for them.

Writing in an opinion piece published in five national newspapers in Kenya in November 2017, DSW’s Kenya country director Evelyn Samba called upon governors across Kenya to make space for youth in County Budget and Economic Forums.

“The youth of Kenya, being the majority population cohort, have an interest and a major stake in all the aspects of the county from the construction of roads to trade and the provision of health services. As they set up their county budget and economic forums, the governors ought to invite the young people to be part of the forums alongside other key stakeholders.” Ms. Samba wrote.

County Budget and Economic Forums are formed and chaired by county governors and includes all the county ministers (County Executive Committee members), and the deputy governor, up to a maximum of 11 members.

An equal number of non-state members, drawn from various organisations, including those representing professionals, business, labour issues, women, persons living with disabilities, the elderly and faith-based groups at the county level.

DSW works with young people in 19 counties in Kenya, empowering them to make their voices heard in decision-making processes at local, national, and global levels.

Since 2016, DSW has trained and supported 400 young people in 11 counties in Kenya to advocate for their family planning needs in the creation and implementation of policy at county and national levels. Kevin, Felix and Andrew are three of these young people.

DSW believes that empowering young people enables them to be their own drivers of change.

Through advocacy, DSW aims to work with stakeholders, including the youth, to mobilize more and better funds from the county governments and the national government for family planning services, especially for young people.