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#KenyaChat: Giving the youth a chance to change the world one tweet at a time.

Today’s youth are accused of being a self-centred generation that demands instant gratification. Coupled by their seeming ignorance of current affairs and global matters, the task of keeping humanity and the world we live in a dignified and habitable place has been left to the older generation.

Many a person is left wondering how to convert these millennials into responsible and proactive citizens.

Step in #KenyaChat, the brainchild of Daniel Maithya, founder and CEO of Royal Trendia; that is meant to primarily stimulate conversation on the Sustainable Development Goals.

DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

“I started #KenyaChat to engage Kenyans across the country and abroad in discussions on national development agendas. I specifically wanted to promote good use of social media to build our nation, rather than destroy it,” Mr Maithya said.

The Sustainable Development Goals, the heir to the Millenium Development Goals, are a set of 17 global goals with 169 targets championed by the United Nations.

Ranging from ending poverty and hunger to reducing income inequality among others, the 17 goals that are to be achieved by 2030 require a monumental, collective effort.

Various reliable statistics indicate that at least 65% of Kenya’s population is under 30-years-old.

This lends credence to the youth’s massive role in ensuring the SDGs are implemented and world order is maintained. So how does one involve them in this noble cause?

“My ambition is to introduce the SDGs program to students across the country, especially in schools, in partnership with the government and organisations like the UN,” said Mr Maithya of his long term dream for his project.

INTERACTIVE PLATFORM

#KenyaChat offers an interactive platform through Twitter for the youth to actively discuss and debate measures on how to best achieve the SDGs.

Hosted by Daniel Maithya (@DanielMaithyaKE) every Tuesday at 6am, #KenyaChat rivals the online presence of morning breakfast shows and goes the extra mile by having moderators actively engage participants.

It is designed to spark the interest of the youth whose lives ‘centre on social media’ and draw them towards more meaningful conversation. As at the time of writing this piece, #KenyaChat has discussed the first six SDGs.

The response from the youth, and older generation alike, has been overwhelming. It is a top trend countrywide on every occasion with an impressive average audience impression.

There has been early involvement in the #KenyaChat discussion by respected institutions and individuals, such as the University of Nairobi and its current vice chancellor, Peter Mbithi and UN Kenya coordinator Siddarth Chatterjee.

ENGAGE OUR YOUTH

“We need to actively and positively engage our youth to prevent them from being soft targets of rogue individuals and groups,” said Mr Maithya.

#KenyaChat has also already gone beyond Kenya’s borders to involve participants from regional countries, most notably 2014 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Frank Mugisha.

Participants from non-African countries, like the USA and UK, are also active. With more discussions set to come one can only be more optimistic of the impact of this initiative.

One can play their part by logging in and giving their two cents on the next topic of discussion and positively critiquing others’ views. Remember, every effort, no matter how big or small, counts.

“Let’s make it our permanent mission and commit to achieving the SDGs for the good of our nation and future generations, Mr Maithya said.