#TFAASPOTLIGHT: Sakaja Johnson, a leader Africa can bank on

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Sakaja Johnson is a 35 year old Kenyan politician, who currently serves as the Senator of Nairobi County after winning the 2017 general election. Prior to this, he was nominated as a Member of Parliament at the National Assembly from 2013-2017. Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya; Sakaja has occupied various leadership and public speaking positions right from his secondary school where he served as the prefects’ coordinator as well as the law society vice-chairman. He was at one time the best in public speaking in Kenya during the National Music Festivals through a topic titled “My Country.

Johnson began his foray into national politics through student politics at the University of Nairobi; where he was the vice chair of the Actuarial Students Association (NASA) and Chairman of the Student Organisation of Nairobi University (SONU). He has been involved in National Politics since the 2005 referendum and played a key role in the 2007 re-election of H.E. Mwai Kibaki. He was a key consultant to the COE and Parliamentary Select Committee on the issue of Representation in the constitution-making process in Kenya. – “As an actuarial scientist, senior government officials knew I was good in mathematical computations so I was called upon to design mathematical formulae to be used in allocating constituencies to the various regions of the country,” Sakaja recalls. “The formula was so water-tight that and well thought out that it was wholly adopted in the Constitution as Article 89.” 

Sakaja has served in his role at Parliament, sponsoring key Bills to which the President has assented to;

  1. Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 –which essentially provides for “30% Procurement Reservation Criteria” for Youth, Women and Persons with disability.
  2. The National Youth Employment Authority Bill, which creates a The National Employment Authority that shall actively seek opportunities for all the jobseekers in its database both locally and internationally, and prepare them for those opportunities through capacity building programs.
  3. The Private Security Regulation Bill, which provides for a framework for cooperation between private security companies and the national security organs
  4. The Disaster Risk Management Bill, providing for a more effective organization of disaster risk management and mitigation, of preparedness for, response to and recovery from emergencies and disasters

Positions Held

– He serves as the Chairperson of the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association, a parliamentary caucus responsible for advocacy of youth empowering policies and legislation as well as mentorship of youth leaders.

 – He also serves as the Chairperson of the Committee of Labour and Social Welfare, a Standing Committee which deals with matters pertaining manpower and human resource planning, gender, cultural and social welfare, national heritage, betting, lotteries, sports, public entertainment, public amenities and recreation. 

– Hon. Sakaja is also the Vice Chairperson of the committee on National Security, Defense and Foreign Relations.

– He is currently the Chairman of the Joint Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity. 

– Sakaja acts as the Chairman of Kenya Young Parliamentary Association, which a caucus is made up of MPs who are below 35 years of age.

– He was nominated to Parliament by The National Alliance (TNA) party which is part of the ruling Jubilee Coalition (now Jubilee party).

–  He served as the National Chairman of The National Alliance (TNA) until 9 September 2016 when the party merged with 12 others to for the Jubilee Party.

Sakaja set up various businesses and ended up setting up a financial consultancy firm, Arthur Johnson Consultants, during his fourth year on campus. The firm is still actively running. He Co-authored a book in collaboration with the International Commission of Jurists ICJ – (Kenya Chapter) on “The Operational Framework for Fiscal Decentralisation.”

Awards

  1. Nominated among the Top 100 Future Leaders: The World’s Most Influential Young People in Government (2018) by Apolitica.
  2. Awarded African Achievers Award “Change-Maker of the Year” 2016 in recognition of his leadership skills and Youth empowerment in Kenya.
  3. Jacob Well Award 2016 (Men Impacting Differently
  4. Nominated for the Future Awards Africa Prize 2015 in The Public Service category.

 “A country that is at war with its young people, is a country that has no future.”

 “Disconnecting a leader from the people is like cutting off his oxygen since serving the people is the sole purpose of leadership,” the youthful politician concludes.

“As a leader sometimes you will be misunderstood, which should not worry you provided your conscience is clear and you are doing the right thing. People will understand later after the success of your enterprise.”

Sakata Johnson is the future.

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