Ruto’s daughter Charlene challenges youths to embrace innovation
President William Ruto’s daughter Charlene Ruto has challenged young people to be conscious of the digital revolution so as to seize the numerous opportunities it portends.
Speaking when she graced the Pwani Innovation Week 2023 at the Swahili Pot Hub in Mombasa, Charlene said that in the modern technological revolution, young people have no option but to constantly explore the digital space in order to remain relevant.
Flanked by Swahili Pot Hub founder Mahmud, Charlene said in this digital era, the youth are exposed to a myriad of opportunities, but few get such opportunities because many are not conscious of them.
"Sailing beyond borders requires us to have a complete mindset and attitude shift; it means that as youths, we should stop thinking of ourselves as just Kenyans within Kenya, but as Kenyans in Africa, Asia, and Europe, I am sure you get the drift," Charlene said.
The president’s daughter, a prominent youth champion, further called on investors to not only appreciate innovation growth but also invest in it for economic transformation.
She asked young people to tap into the facilitative structures that the government has put in place to invest in innovations and technologies as a way of taming runaway unemployment and addressing their present-day challenges.
“This means that we maintain our national pride and plenty that is within our borders, but it also means that we spread ourselves to test international waters; sailing beyond borders requires our resilience and our energy because we don’t know how long it will take us to reach our destination,” she added.
She said young people in the country possess impressive innovative skills that need to be nurtured, scaled up, and absorbed in all sectors of the economy to bring about the much-desired change in economic development.
Speaking at the same event, Noor said youth have an opportunity to create innovations regardless of their remote location, thus urging them to remain steadfast.
The innovation week involves workshops to train youth on intellectual property and innovation protection, how to break barriers in gender and equality innovation, and how to master strategies for success in modern business strategies.
Noor said youth have embraced innovations, ready to tap into the economic potential that comes along with them. The innovation week that has attracted hundreds of innovations continues through this week.
“We will link them with financial institutions so that their innovations can get financial funding and ready markets; we will also let them learn from mentors who will guide them through,” Noor said.
This is the fourth time the event is being held in Mombasa, where youth showcase their innovations for sustainable development. Those with different innovations will have an opportunity to get financial support to actualise their dreams.
Noor said some of the innovations are targeting information and communication sectors, ICT sectors, and security, among others.
At least 70 exhibitors are taking part in the Pwani Innovation Week, and the Swahili Pot Hub boss said 1,300 people have registered to take part.
On her part, Farthiya Jamal, one of the participants, said the event is significant since it will create an entrepreneurship ecosystem and empower hundreds of youth.
“What we want to achieve from the Pwani Innovation Week is to create jobs, empower youth, and catalyze job opportunities so that we can create young entrepreneurs,” she said.
Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir pledged to support innovations that will emerge from the event. The county has created an entrepreneurship environment for new innovators.
"We will continue to support new entrepreneurs. Mombasa is ready for innovations, and we will not hesitate to support them," Nassir, who graced the event, said.
Mombasa Education County executive committee member Mbwarali Mboramad said the government has put aside a budget in the Department of Digital Transformation to support innovations.
"As the county government, we are committed to helping them become new entrepreneurs in ICT. The county has a budget for digital transformation, and we intend to use this money to make their innovations successful," Mboramad said.