On August 7, 2014 the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) hosted Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta for a discussion on Kenya’s security challenges, its economic growth trajectory and regional integration goals, as well as ongoing efforts to unite its population under its new constitution. Kenya has achieved significant progress in recent years, implementing a new constitution and continuing its trend of strong economic growth. The country, moreover, has taken a leadership position within efforts to integrate the East Africa region, championing plans to develop a unified monetary union as well as partnering with the Obama administration’s new Trade Africa initiative. However, significant challenges, including rising domestic instability as well as persistent youth unemployment and political discord, constrain Kenya’s development and undermine its efforts to achieve its ambitious Vision 2030 plan, which seeks to establish new levels of prosperity and quality of life for all citizens. Martin Indyk, vice president and director of the Brookings Foreign Policy program gave the introduction. Senior Fellow and AGI Director Mwangi S. Kimenyi moderated a discussion with President Kenyatta after he provided formal remarks.
Because the truth of the matter is that Africa has changed over the last 20 years. And Africa’s changing, and it’s changing at a pace far greater than any other corner of this globe. Africa is creating opportunities. Africa is learning from her own mistakes. Africa wants to chart a completely new path.”
The most important thing for us is to acknowledge that yes; young people are our greatest resource. And at the same time, they are our greatest challenge, given the fact that we have indeed the youngest population in the world, and therefore our need to focus.”