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, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, ON THE OCCASION OF THE KENYA NATIONAL DRAMA FESTIVAL STATE CONCERT, STATE HOUSE, FRIDAY 26TH APRIL, 2013 Ladies and Gentlemen, It is my great pleasure to host the winners of the 54th edition of the Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama Festival. I thank each one of you, the students, teachers, parents and the Ministry of Education, for the uplifting performances we have watched this morning and for holding a successful drama festival. The performances throughout the festival and as seen here today reflect a high level of creativity and talent. Congratulations for a job well done. I am also encouraged by this years theme which is Performance for National Healing and Reconciliation. As our country emerges from a highly contested election, this theme is timely and will contribute to the process of national reconciliation especially among our youth and political class. One of the immediate priorities of my Government is to unite all Kenyans so that we can open a new chapter for our country in which we will all celebrate our diversity, enjoy our cultures and live out our every potential as we move forward as one nation. I take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Education for pushing forward the agenda of national healing and reconciliation through this years drama festival. It is my vision that the creative arts will continue to be utilized to foster not only a strong sense of nationhood but also to inculcate positive values in our youth. The performing and creative arts are not only a unique medium of instruction but also an important tool in the social, political and economic development process. Our various cultures and communities have benefited immensely from messages propagated through oral culture. Increasingly, too, the creative arts around the world are an important economic driver and employer and comprise a multi-billion industry in which talented people can earn a decent livelihood. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy that the 54th edition of the drama festival has taken cognizance of major aspects of our Constitution. For the first time, the festival brought on board learners with special needs. All Kenyan children have an inalienable right to free quality education irrespective of their physical or mental challenges. Our learning institutions should continue embracing inclusive education as well as providing opportunities for all learners to participate in all school programmes. I also welcome the inclusion of the film genre in the festival. The fact that our own learners are able to script and make films in schools is a great innovation which my Government will fully support as we work towards the realization of Vision 2030.

Further, it is encouraging that the festival showcased a cross section of participants drawn from Early Childhood Education Centres, primary and secondary schools, tertiary colleges and universities. With over 9,500 performers on stage and an audience of over 50,000, the Kenya Drama Festival is a unique theatrical event nationally. We need to showcase this annual event beyond its current status and use it as a stepping stone to market the talent and creativity of our youth in the region, Africa and the world. Ladies and Gentlemen, My Government is committed to providing the youth with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be relevant and competitive in the modern global economy. Our focus will be to provide holistic quality education that requires graduates to acquire minimum basic competencies at every grade and level. Under this new policy framework, there is emphasis on early identification and development of talents. Further, we are going to pay particular attention to Information Communication and Technology as a very critical subject of study as well as a tool for curriculum delivery and developing the creative arts. My Government is committed to developing talent in the creative arts, and in line with our vision. In that respect, we will establish a Kenya Film School and construct an ultra-modern National Theater. In support of the creative arts development in schools, we will ensure that creative hubs are established across the country. I am confident that through training, talented youth specializing in music, dance, film and theatre, can be prepared to pursue professional careers in these fields. We are committed to investing in the arts and entertainment sectors which will not only create jobs for our children in the future; but also promote tourism and our culture around the world. To ensure future employment for our youth, my Governments policy is to increase local content to 60% from the current 40% in local free to air TV channels. I urge every performer here today and all young person across this great and talented country to dare to dream, and to dream big. More than that, to work hard at exploiting your talents for in my Government you have partners and mentors who will support your every effort to be your creative best. Ladies and Gentlemen, It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Education has successfully partnered with other institutions to realize a successful festival. The National Authority for Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, the Kenya Bureau of Standards, the French Embassy in Kenya and Brand Kenya Board, have utilized the drama festival forum to articulate major challenges that

affect the Kenyan society in general and our youth in particular. I urge other key stakeholders to exploit this forum and partner with the Ministry of Education as their corporate social responsibility in preparing our youth for the challenging task of building our nation. As we conclude this years festival, let us all remember that what we have witnessed throughout the festival and the performances today is really the first fruit of a new Kenya, new possibilities, a new socio-economic and political order, and a higher quality of life for our young people as envisaged in our Constitution. As you all get back to your respective institutions and homes, I wish you God speed and abundant blessings. Thank you and God bless you all.