A Man Inside Parliament Vouching & Fighting For The Youth In Kenya, Buluma Samba Speaks
The Kenya Young Parliamentarian Association (KYPA) was begun by Njoki Ndung’u in 2004 and formed as a Civil Society Organization under the Societies Act. The association formerly headed by Johnson Sakaja was formed to build capacity and enhance the participation of young leaders in Parliament.
Anthony Buluma Samba, Executive Director of Kenya Young Parliamentarian Association (KYPA) is the silent but effective man behind multiple achievements made by the Caucus. Since 2013, Mr. Buluma has been on the frontline ensuring that the core role of the association, Supporting pro-youth legislation and policies is fulfilled.
Buluma Samba’s 9-Year Tenure
In a one-on-one interview with the utterly composed man, Buluma Samba takes me through a barrage of successes attached to his tenure as Executive Director in the last 9 years. Before we get into the nitty gritty of anything, he is keen on letting me know that the Kenyan Youth needs to be represented by all means possible and legislation is one of the ways. As the youth out there feels neglected and abandoned by a ‘selfish’ lot of politicians, Buluma has made sure that the young parliamentarians newly and repeatedly elected stick to the core agenda through training, accountability sessions, and tangible input in parliament.
In his tenure, Buluma has seen the establishment of a secretariat that has helped in realizing objectives, workstreams, timeframes, and budgets among other key roles. He has grown the association from no grants to grants worth over $ 100 million that have financed bills and programs and cushioned the association.
Since 2013, KYPA has Launched 2 strategic plans that have opened up cooperation between the KYPA and the youth organizations to establish close ties in working procedures. The association is credited in Parliament to have sponsored the highest pieces of legislation with 21 legislations recorded in the 11th Parliament and 27 legislations in the 12th parliament.
In collaboration with the members of KYPA, Mr. Samba has seen hundreds of young people appointed to government parastatals directly and indirectly. “We literally collected over a hundred Curriculum Vitaes from the public, and went to lobby for their appointments in the statehouse where we secured positions for them.” Says Buluma Samba
To bridge the gap between the public and Parliament, Samba tells me the KYPA has availed opportunities for young people to experience parliament, by having a day in the August house sitting as MPs and debating. “Such opportunities have birthed serving parliamentarians such as Babu Owino, and former MP Gideon Keter, among other aspirants who were awakened by exposure to the system. They developed their aspirations and wanted to be in the frontline as legislators representing the youth instead of shouting from outside,” remarks Samba
Buluma is fixated on Setting the agenda for youth, not only in Kenya but globally. Important to note, he is behind the recognition of Former President Uhuru Kenyatta as the Global Champion For Youth. This was after the association hosted a group of young people in parliament and it was showcased to the world that Kenyans are giving youth space and an audience.
Prospects For Samba
As a young Politician and an aspiring Member of Parliament, Mr. Samba has been on the frontline shaping the youth agenda on the floor of parliament in collaboration with sitting MPs in the Cocus. This is by positioning young parliamentarians to be the voice of the youth and not to be dragged or suffocated with selfish agendas that work against the young Kenyan. As the Executive Director of the Kenya Young Parliamentarian Association, Buluma Samba tells me that many times he goes out of his way to attend events and conventions involving the youth, to pick into the minds of young people, and therefore come up with tangible solutions through the legislation.
Now in his 9th year, Samba is clear on his agenda as Executive Director for KYPA, ensuring that there is a voice for young people in parliament.”Our Parliament does not even have a standalone Committee for youth. We are looking forward to having one in the 13th Parliament because we have a new ministry for youth. We are within Parliament but outside parliament, within because it is a caucus for MPs but outside because we are independent of parliament partially, but this will change.”
“The youth in Kenya should know that they have ambassadors both in parliament and in the corridors of parliament. The Caucus I lead is aimed at not only representing the young person in numbers but also in agendas. Soon, tangible results will be experienced on the ground as we push and rally for what belongs to the youth in Kenya.” concluded Buluma Samba, Executive Director, Kenya Young Parliamentarian Association