At the Mandela 100 Global Citizen Festival, the president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta announced that his country would be increasing the percent of the national budget allocated to education by 2019. The annual program which was held yesterday, December 2nd, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa was to mark 100 years since the birth of the global peace icon, late Nelson Mandela as well as to push for the full implementation of the United Nations SDG (Sustainable Development Goals).
Kenyatta said his administration intends to go beyond the global allocation of 20 percent. “I want to go one step further, and this year I pledge, to you my fellow global citizens, that in Kenya our education budget will be closer to 30 percent of our total budget, making it probably the highest on the African continent,” President Kenyatta said.
The President was given the responsibility of being in the front in the push for better and quality education, as he was named the Global champion of the Young People’s Agenda in September 2018 during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. He has been at the forefront ensuring reforms towards better education are implemented including the scrapping of national examination fees for primary and secondary candidates in Kenya.
In his speech “Quality Education”, President Uhuru talked extensively on the fourth Goal of the 17 SDGs that the United Nations hopes to achieve by 2030. The founder for Food for Education, Wawira Njiru was also celebrated for her support of education, by ensuring that vulnerable children are being provided food every day to end classroom hunger, improve attendance and their performance in class.
By committing close to 30 percent of the budget allocation to education in Kenya, it is hoped that additional funding would help improve the education system in the country. It has often been clamored for that the budgetary allocation to education in African countries need to be increased as education builds the society. The importance of education in a country cannot be understated, the more educated a country is, the better the chances for development. This step to be taken by the Kenyan government could help spear-head other African countries to follow in that same direction.