Give people skills not handouts, says ODM leader Raila
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga yesterday took on Deputy President William Ruto over his bottom-up economic model saying the youth should shun tokenism and handouts.
Raila said the youths should be given skills and opportunity to eke out a living which he said cannot be achieved by dishing out handouts.
The former premier said with clear policies, the government can elevate millions of people from poverty just like it has been done in other countries such as China.
“If you create skills and allow opportunities, people will use the skills. In the last 30 years, the People’s Republic of China has elevated 500 million people from poverty to middle income status,” he explained.
“We can raise 15 million people in 10 years from poverty to middle income status. It can be done.
But it cannot be done when we are talking about handouts, we must now come up with clear policies on how to transform this economy from a third world economy to a middle income status like we did with retired President Kibaki on the Vision 2030 economic blueprint.”
Raila spoke when he met a group of youths from Murang’a county dubbed ‘Raila Diehards’ at Crown Plaza in Nairobi yesterday.
He said while he was the Prime Minister in retired resident Mwai Kibaki’s government, the State had a strategy to transform Kenya into a middle income economy.
“We can achieve it. It is doable. We should be in the league of Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Korea.
There is no need to try to re-invent the wheel. The wheel is already invented.
We don’t need to re-invent the wheel in this country, we know what needs to be done,” he said.
Raila told the youths that there has been challenges with rural-urban migration over the years, adding that urbanisation is a permanent phenomenon that Kenyans should live with.
He, however, said there is need to create a balance by making living conditions in rural areas livable so that the massive rural urban migration is tamed.
Earlier in the day Raila met some governors at his Capitol Hill offices, who paid him a courtesy call to share with him the preparations of the Devolution Conference to be held in Makueni from August 23.
Flanked by Governors Prof Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), James Ongwae (Kisii), Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’ and Nominated senator Rose Nyamunga, Raila said there is need to give green energy a priority.
He said there was also need to review devolution on what more needs to be done based on the experience of the first group of governors.