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Saturday, August 18, 2007

RECREATING THE REPUBLIC: The Challenges Facing Young Kenyan Leaders

"But to get to our Land of Promise, there is a wilderness we must cross and there are giants we must slay."

Closing Address delivered at the 3rd National Youth Convention Kenyatta International Conference Centre Sunday, 12th August 2007

By NJONJO MUE Senior Legal Counsel and Head of the Advocacy Programme Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen: I would like to congratulate you on the successful conclusion of the Third National Youth Convention.

Over the last two days, you have had occasion to discuss and debate the future of our country and the critical role that Kenya’s young people must play in reclaiming the fortunes of our land. Unfortunately, I was not able to join you until this afternoon, but going by what I have observed and heard in the short time I have been present, I know I can rest assured that the future of our country is in safe hands.

Indeed, when I go to bed tonight, I shall be able to close my eyes and rest. I know I can afford to dream of the country that my children will call home. Through the watches of the night, I will behold in my mind’s eye, a strong African country, united in its diversity with a vibrant economy and equitable distribution of resources; where every man, woman and child has the opportunity and the means to achieve his or her fullest potential and where justice and respect for human dignity shall be the basis of social behavior by both the citizen and the State alike.

I can already see a strong, united country, taking its place of leadership in regional and international affairs; setting the pace in political governance, economic growth, foreign policy, science and technology, and promoting fair trade. I see a green land where people are able to feed themselves, enjoying the fruits of the land while protecting the environment in the true realization of the fact that “we did not inherit this land from our parents; we have borrowed it from our children.” From Lamu to Lokichogio, from the Lake the blue shining sea, I behold all the peoples of this beloved country, in their different hues and colours living and working together side by side in mutually reinforcing and affirming communities across the land.

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