Sustainable development goals (SDGs) were set for global development through fifteen years from 2015 to 2030. Global study conducted by United .Nations show that in 2017 90% of world population weren’t aware of the sustainable development goals. The SDGs cover range of complex social, economic and environmental challenges. Universities are encouraged to play strategic roles in creation and dissemination of the SDGs.
In Kenya, the university students aware of the existence of 17SDGs are 45% as compared to the 54% of the global university students.. Good health and wellbeing (SDG3 ) , Quality Education (SDG 4) , Gender Equality (SDG 5) and Clean water and Sanitation (SDG 6) have higher awareness at 60% and above. No poverty ( SDG 1) and Zero Hunger ( SDG 2) have a medium awareness of between 50 and 59%. The rest of the remaining SDGs have low awareness of less than 10%.
Of the 54% global survey awareness, India contributes highest followed by USA and UK respectively. Kenyan youth participate actively in world problems such as global warming (27%), environmental pollution (15%), poverty(12%), unemployment (16%), corruption (15%) and poverty (12%). Majority of youth respondents in Kenya feel that SDGs can be used to solve social, economic, problems in Kenya and the world.
When it comes to involvement with the SDGs, 62% of the students have been involved in activities linked to attainment of SDGs in the past year. 83% of the post graduate students have a higher involvement as compared to other graduates whom 61% were involved. 65% of males have a higher involvement as compared to 58% females.
Biggest motivation came from personal conviction to be involved in the SDG linked activities. Respondents who have not been involved in SDG linked activities blamed lack in information as reason for not being involved in the SDG activities.
CEO of TIFA research, Margret Ireri stated that, ” The survey shows that there is overwhelming support for the SDGs and this translates in to high interest in assisting Kenya to achieve them. The challenge at hand is to provide information to the youth and also equip them with the ‘how’ this can be done”.
“The SDGs conversation needs to happen at street level-away from the workshops and the seminars. If we are to make meaningful progress in implementing the sustainable development goals, we must involve young people in the process. Through the #MyLittleBigThing Universities competition, MK-Africa has started the journey of moving from discussions about the SDGs to action.” said Muthoni Kanyana, CEO of MK- Africa.