The Star (Nairobi)

12 November 2012

Kenya: Youth Urged to Participate in Elections

University of Nairobi students walk past Taifa Hall where ICC Judge Joyce Aluoch was to give a talk which was called off at the last minute.

Kenyan youth should actively participate in the forthcoming elections, Ford Foundation president Luis Antonio Ubinas has advised.

Mr Ubinas was speaking during a public lecture titled; Fulfilling the Promise of Democracy in Kenya, that was hosted at The Taifa Hall of the University of Nairobi today. Ubinas encouraged the youth to shun negative ethnicity and instead focus on issue-based politics and politicians.

"The election is your future and. You have to demand a peaceful, issue-based election to protect your future," said Ubinas. He added that the youth should not allow themselves to be divided along ethnic lines stating that democracy can thrive regardless of divergent ethnicities. He said, "If we have faith in democracy, it will give us everything we hope for. Democracy can work even in places with divergent ethnicities."

Ubinas also asked politicians to be mindful of their constituents and should ensure their security. He said that the rule of law must be upheld without which there is no observance of civil rights, human rights and lack of it undermines business and trade all of which will negatively affect the country as a whole.

The public lecture was held in commemoration of the foundation's 50th year of operation in East Africa in its 75 years of existence. He affirmed his commitment to continual support of key sectors including education, economic equality and promotion of democracy. Ubinas said this as he presented a grant of Sh4 million for the refurbishment of the Taifa Hall.

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