CS Monica Juma says Blue Economy Conference Seeks to Initiate Action-Oriented Discussions

STATEMENT BY AMB. MONICA JUMA, DPHIL, CBS, CABINET SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON THE OCCASION OF THE PLEDGING CONFERENCE ON BLUE ECONOMY, 20th JUNE 2018, AT THE CROWNE PLAZA, NAIROBI

Mr Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary, the National Treasury and National Planning

Mr Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning. Let me thank you all for accepting our invitation to attend this pledging conference in support of the High-Level Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy slated to be held in Nairobi from 26th to 28th November 2018.

Your presence here demonstrates the importance your countries attach to this first global conference on Sustainable Blue Economy, and what it seeks to achieve for the world as we move forward.

Ocean and marine issues continue to generate a lot of interest and political momentum worldwide. This is because the potential contribution of these resources to achieving sustainable economic growth, alleviating poverty, and protecting the environment cannot be gainsaid.

However, in many countries especially developing, the full potential of the oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers remains untapped. This is largely because of inadequate financing, lack of access to new technologies and innovations, weak human and technical capacities, and governance challenges.

To address these challenges, and to achieve sustainable utilization and management of these water resources, there is a need for urgent collaboration among states and across the public and private sectors, and on a scale that has not been previously achieved.

It is against this backdrop, that H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta, announced, during the last Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, his intention to host a global conference on the blue economy in 2018.

Oceans and other water resources are key for driving sustainable growth and development. Clearly, the global narrative is strong and consistent-oceans and other water resources are at the centre of achieving the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

Accordingly, Kenya has taken the challenge of being the first country to host a global conference on the sustainable blue economy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The main goal of the forthcoming Conference is to initiate action-oriented discussions focused on the productivity and sustainability aspects of the blue economy.

We expect States, the private sector, international organizations, academia and civil society to participate and exchange views, knowledge, information and best practices for sustainably using the blue economy to accelerate economic growth, job creation, social inclusion, poverty alleviation and protection of the environment.

We anticipate the discussions will lead to the identification of key opportunities and challenges for inclusivity and collaborative partnerships and projects, and suggestions for the next steps moving forward.

As I had informed in my letters to your Foreign Ministers, Kenya is committed to ensuring a successful Conference, with global participation and practical outcomes.

Given the huge budgetary requirement, the Government is seeking to mobilize resources from our partners and the private sector. You are therefore invited to support the conference in three possible ways; the first is by participation, secondly, monetary contribution and also in-kind and non-monetary support. The support could be in form of direct funding or sponsorship of specific budgetary items.

I am happy to inform that I have received letters and Notes verbale from a number of countries informing of their delegations. I will be happy to receive your Ministers in Nairobi and hold discussions with them at the sidelines of the conference.

As you pledge your support, I would like to recognize Canada, for their commitment to co-host the Conference expressed from the highest levels of their Government. We will continue to work with Canada and any other country towards the hosting of a successful conference in November.

To conclude, Excellenceis, Ladies and Gentlemen, People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnerships are at the centre of a well-managed global blue economy system.

Thank you very much.

 

Kenya is Ready to Embrace Pakistan – CS Monica Juma

KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY AMB MONICA JUMA, CABINET SECRETARY MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE ON THE OCCASION OF THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF KENYA-PAKISTAN TRADE & INVESTMENT CONFERENCE IN KARACHI, PAKISTAN ON MAY 2, 2018

Hon. Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, Minister of Commerce and Textile of the Islamic of Republic of Pakistan,  

Mr Muhammad Younis Dagha, Secretary of Commerce and Textile of the Islamic of Republic of Pakistan,

Dr Richard Lesiyampe, Principal Secretary, State Department of Crop Development of Kenya,

Prof. Julius K Bitok, High Commissioner of Kenya to Pakistan

Representatives from various Government departments of Kenya and Pakistan,

Captains and Representatives from various Businesses and the Private Sector,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour for me to be in Karachi with you today. Honourable Minister Malik, on my own behalf and that of the entire Government of the Republic of Kenya, I express utmost and sincere gratitude for honour and friendship that you have accorded Kenya by hosting this event, at this time when you are running a busy electoral schedule. Although we held our second round of elections in October 2017, we are still recovering from the hectic schedule. So I fully understand the sacrifice you have had to made to be with us today.  Your presence here today is yet, the clearest indicator of your strong commitment as a Minister, and government, to the Pakistani look Africa policy.  I am particularly alive the fact that Kenya is the first of the African countries where this kind of interaction is taking place.  We understand the demonstrative value of this in terms of shaping the agenda and leading the way for the rest of the continent.

Please be assured, from the onset, of our singular determination to use this forum to take our relationship to the next that is defined by a target focused engagement – an engagement that generates optimal returns for the people of our two nations.

May I also take this early opportunity, Honourable Minister, to salute the captains of business that are with us, our chambers of commerce, our businessmen and women who are key drivers in the pursuit of our countries prosperity and wealth. We as the government have a role in creating an enabling environment to ensure that they can grow the industry, create jobs, offer services to our people and create prosperity for our nations. I salute you for making time to join your Kenyans colleagues in attendance.  Looking at the rich programme laid before us, I have no doubt that you interaction over the next three days will yield opportunities, create better comfort levels and grow the appetite to engage, in both our countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I come to Karachi after an intense two days engagement with the government from the highest level, in Islamabad.  I had the honour of delivering a message to the Prime Minister – which offered me an opportunity to exchange views on our bilateral relations. His message was clear: Our relationship needs to be revitalized to take full advantage of opportunities in both countries.  This message echoed that of President Uhuru when he dispatched me to Pakistan, to explore mechanisms of growing our trade and investment as well as cooperation in other areas of mutual interest. My interaction yesterday, with the officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also underscored a great desire for us to do more, in a structured manner.

This forum, therefore, could not have come at a better time in the light of this instruction from the highest level but also in view of the focus on the foreign policies of both countries. It offers us an opportunity to identify the mechanism that will grow our trade and investment portfolios as well as an opportunity to isolate and target the products, opportunities and issues that we can focus full attention on.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Kenya and Pakistan have a long historical relationship.  Pakistan established a liaison office in Nairobi in 1952 which was upgraded into a full diplomatic mission upon our independence in 1963. On our part we established our diplomatic mission in Pakistan in 1984. Throughout this time, Kenya and Pakistan have remained good friends. We have based on the principles of mutual respect and solidarity supported one another through various structures including the South-South Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement and the G77 and China forums.  In fact, Pakistan and Kenya have always consulted and been on the side particularly in international affairs.  Our interests as Kenya have often been safeguarded in any forum that Pakistan has been at, and vice versa.

At the bilateral level, relations between Kenya and Pakistan have remained cordial, underpinned by a strong cultural link.  We have benefited from training opportunities in Pakistan and in my discussions in Islamabad, we explored the possibility of growing the number and diversifying the areas of training available to us.  We also spoke to the need have opportunities for exchanges in our training and research institutions.  I see no difficulty in extending the area of training in entrepreneurial placement programmes within the private sector, both here and in Kenya.  If the private sector here today were to consider an internship programme for your graduates in various sectors/fields – both ways, it would a great way of introducing our young people to the industry.

We have also benefited from collaboration in the security sector – in particular, security printing, In this case, NADRA has played a significant role that has significantly improved the integrity of our national database and documents.  This is a partnership that can have significant offshoots for the private sector that deals with security and related areas.

Ladies and Gentlemen  

Our trade has been improving particularly in the last three years. Between 2016 and 20176, our exports to Pakistan grew more than 20 billion shillings more – which was more than a 30% rise.  80% of this trade is one commodity –tea.  Other exports are indicative of areas of growth – onions, carbonates, sacks and bags.  But the scope of items is too small in terms of quantum and diversity.  This offers an opportunity to grow the volumes as well as the products to Pakistan.  From the agricultural side – there is great potential for dried fruits, Coconut, coffee (of course), fresh flowers, and powdered milk, for example.

Both our countries aspire to grow their manufacturing sectors.  But undoubtedly Pakistan stands ahead of Kenya and can offer opportunities to spur our value addition – in agriculture including in terms of technology transfer for low-cost agricultural production that increased yields, improve nutritional value and that assist us in post-harvest management.  We are looking keenly to lessons that we draw from Pakistan in the agricultural sector because as you will be hearing in the course of the two days here, food security is one of Big Four Agenda that we are pursuing.

We are also in the process of re-establishing our textile industry, an area that Pakistan is way ahead of many countries in. I had no doubt in my mind that the right fusion of our country’s enormous agricultural potential and Pakistan’s technology can bring enormous benefits to both Kenya and Pakistan.  We welcome Pakistan investors interested to set up plants that add value to our primary commodities especially in the agricultural sector.  In my delegation is Dr Lesiyampe, the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Agriculture and colleagues from various government Departments, Parastatals and the private sector – who will be available to interact with any interested potential investors in the agricultural sector.

But there is also another low hanging fruit. Today, Pakistan is a food surplus country – yet we regularly face shortages of certain food items.  Herein is another opportunity for our business sectors to establish mechanisms that help up bridge the deficit that we may have in certain commodities.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Another area of significant interest for Kenya is the health sector – where we are looking to providing health care to all Kenyans.  The Pakistan Health experience and expertise in the pharmaceutical areas and production of surgical equipment stands out as an area of interest to us.  I look forward to engagement that clarifies modalities to guaranteeing access in this area. Again, we welcome any interested investors.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While we have been engaging, the general feeling is that we need to up our game.  The Ministry of Commerce ‘Look Africa Policy’ stands out well to take this leap forward. It is high time that Pakistan reaches out to Kenya. Kenya is ready to embrace Pakistan.  What then constitutes the next step?

  1. The investment climate in Kenya is ripe for investment. We are seeing greater appetite with each passing day.  But this appetite from other regions, and mainly from the developed world.  We believe that there is a lot to gain from a country like Pakistan that we share more – in terms of our historical experiences and circumstances, in terms of our levels of development, etc.
  2. As you know, an investment in Kenya places you at the gateway of the east, horn, central and southern African countries – bringing you a market of close to 500 million people. More recently, we signed onto the African Continental Free Trade Area – which seeks to create a single African market.  Engaging with Kenya now will offer a foot into one of the largest Economic blocs globally.  In other words, it will offer you a first mover advantage.  From our end, we also see a similar opportunity for our goods coming to Pakistan.  There seems to be an opportunity for Pakistan to become the gateway for our products to markets such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and even Kazakhstan.
  3. I urge that you consider engaging Kenya’s business community through credible institutions like The Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).
  4. It is critical to share information constantly – joint sessions like this one today is critical in enlarging the footprint of each country. So I propose organization and attendance to shows, exhibitions and business forums mounted in Kenya and Pakistan. I urge all relevant parties to ensure that there are the annual programmes of these events in all sectors.
  5. It is also my hope that we will have more high-level visits to signal to both our business but also people of our nations the government resolve to take this relationship to the next level.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my sincere hope that in the various session of this conference, over the next two days, participants will deliberate and think through a structured mechanism to identify products, areas and opportunities of engagement. The discussion must also identify areas and issues that both governments need to focus attention on, in order to facilitate smooth business operations. I know that there are issues with tariffs on some goods – this need to be discussed and addressed in a manner that encourages and facilitates trade and investment. Because only growing of our economies will generate jobs for our youth, prosperity for our nations and dignity for our people.

Ladies and Gentlemen

I would be remiss if I ended my statement without paying tribute to Pakistan for the pivotal role it continues to place in conflict resolution, preventive diplomacy and peacemaking within this region. We know, as Kenya, that tough neighbourhood bestows a country additional responsibility to be your brother or sister’s minder.  You continue to play this role beyond the region. Pakistan is one of those nations that takes its responsibility towards contributing to international peace and security, anywhere in the world and particularly in Africa, seriously – and for this we commend you. All of us, as Members of the International Community, have a responsibility to contribute towards global peace and stability.

International terrorism continues to pose a significant threat to our nations.  In this regard, Pakistan remains a valued partner in the fight against terrorism and related vices including radicalization. We value our relationship in this area and look forward to deepening cooperation that will rid the world of this evil.

Like Pakistan, Kenya supports the principle of multilateralism through the United Nations (UN) and believes that the latter should play a central role in all issues related to the maintenance of global peace and security.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At this juncture, allow me once again, on behalf of the Kenyan delegation and Government of Kenya, to extend our best wishes for the campaigns.  And hopefully of good returns wish to extend to you Honourable Minister, an invitation to visit Kenya and hopefully address the next Kenya-Pakistan Trade and Investment Conference out of there, where we review progress made from the decisions and actions recommended by this meeting.

It will be my delight to host you and reciprocate the hospitality extended to me and my delegation since our arrival.

Kenya awaits you and is ready to receive you.

‘God Bless Pakistan, God Bless Kenya’

‘Pakistan Sindabad’

‘Shukria and Allah Hafiz’’    

 

CAS Ababu Namwamba Invites Greece to Invest in the BigFour

TOAST STATEMENT ON THE OCCASION OF THE INDEPENDENCE DAY OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC, MARCH 28, 2018

 Your Excellency, Amb. Konstantinos Moatsos,

 Excellences Ambassadors and High Commissioners

 Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. It is a great honour and pleasure to join you on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Kenya to celebrate the Independence Day of the Hellenic Republic of Greece. This important day commemorates the historic moment on March 25th 1821 when Greece began its campaign for independence after nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule. I warmly congratulate our Greek brethren on this auspicious occasion.
  1. Greece, perched at the crossroads of Africa, Europe and Asia, stands proudly in the pantheon of nations as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, and its contributions to literature, science and culture have left an indelible mark on the world as we know it today. 
  1. This gathering offers us an opportune moment to reflect on the strong bonds of friendship that exist between Greece and Kenya. The Embassy of the Hellenic Republic in Nairobi was established in 1966, three years after our own liberation struggle culminated in independence. Since then our partnership has continued to blossom as exemplified by the high level exchange of visits in the recent past.
  1. These include the visit to Kenya in 2016 by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece, Mr. Dimitris Mardas, who led a business delegation of 14 Greek companies from across various sectors inter alia agriculture, tourism, construction and machinery. In September, 2017 the then Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Amina Mohamed visited Athens to participate in the Athens Democracy Forum.
  1. Greece is an important trade and investment partner for Kenya, with over 40 Greek companies active in Kenya. The total volume of trade between the two countries stood at 1.3 billion shillings in 2016, an increase of 124% compared to 2010. Imports from Greece currently make up 77% of total trade between our two countries, and therefore as we redouble our efforts to increase the volume and value of trade and investment, we also need to address the trade imbalance currently in favour of Greece, for the long-term benefit of both countries.
  1. The full potential of our economic cooperation remains untapped, with immense potential for enhanced engagement in the energy, construction, infrastructure and tourism sectors. The Hellenic – Kenyan Chamber of Industry, Commerce, Development, Tourism & Culture, established in 2014, is a platform through which relationships between business entities in Kenya and Greece can be cultivated and elevated further.
  1. H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second term Big Four agenda offers a roadmap the Government’s priorities and a potential reference point to guide future cooperation between Kenya and Greece. The Big Four priority areas as you may be aware are Food Security, Affordable Housing, Manufacturing, and Affordable Healthcare.
  1. In the manufacturing sector, the Government’s focus is on value addition to enhance our competitiveness and fingered four key subsectors, namely the Blue Economy, Agro-Processing, Leather and Textiles. In Housing, His Excellency the President’s vision is to up-scale homeownership to more than 500,000 Kenyans. On Food Security and Nutrition, the Government is keen to encourage and facilitate large-scale commercial agriculture to diversify food staples through irrigation and other technologies. In relation to Healthcare, the Government is committed to ensuring access to quality and affordable medical cover to all Kenyans by 2022.
  1. It would be remiss of me not to mention the historic signing last week of the African Continental Free Trade Area treaty by 44 African states. Not only will the AfCTA spur intra-African trade and stimulate competitiveness of African industry, it will also create positive multiplier effects for companies from Greece and elsewhere that choose to invest in Africa due to the liberalization of our markets. In this regard, Kenya’s position in East and Central Africa makes it an ideal launch pad to access the markets of East and Central Africa (EAC) with over 150 million people, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), with over 430 million people, and indeed the wider African Continental Free Trade Area.
  1. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, away from the economic sphere, we are happy to note the strong Greek community presence in Kenya, particularly through the Greek Orthodox Church, which under the leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Makarios has expanded to include 300 parishes actively involved in missionary work throughout Kenya. 
  1. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I now request you to join me in a toast to the warm and cordial relations that exist between Kenya and the Hellenic Republic and to the good health and long life of E. Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic.

 

CS Monica Juma Outlines Kenya’s Foreign Policy Direction

PRESS BRIEFING BY AMB. MONICA K. JUMA, DPHIL, CBS, CABINET SECRETARY MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, MARCH 8, 2018 NAIROBI, KENYA

Good morning members of the Fourth Estate

  1. I am delighted to welcome you to my first media briefing session as the Cabinet Secretary of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. I wish to take this early opportunity to thank every one of you for honouring our invitation and wish you a happy International Women’s Day.
  1. This media briefing today marks the commencement of what I hope will be a regular session with the media in regard to communicating the status of our foreign relations and diplomacy during my tenure as Cabinet Secretary.
  1. I, therefore, wish to commence the briefing by taking this opportunity to formally introduce the new team at the helm of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade that I will be working with.

Ababu Namwamba, EGH Chief Administrative Secretary

Is a top constitutional and international human rights attorney, who has established a distinguished profile as an accomplished legislator and defender of truth, justice and the public interest.

Ababu served in two consecutive parliamentary sessions, the 10th and 11th parliaments, a no mean feat in a country where attrition on members of parliament stands at above 75% for any cycle.  During his time in parliament, Honourable Namwamba holds the record of the highest number of successful motions in the 10th Parliament and had over ten Bills to his name in the 11th Parliament.  He also served on a number of parliamentary committees including the Public Accounts and Judicial and Constitutional Affairs Committees of parliament.

He has also served the Republic as the Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs during which time, he is remembered for the enactment of the long desired Sports Act, actualization of the National Youth Council and enhancement of the National Youth Fund.

Macharia Kamau, Principal Secretary, Foreign Affairs

A career diplomat with rich experience who I know most of you have interacted with as Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, and, who had an exemplary record at the United Nations.

He served diligently as Kenya’s Permanent Representative to our Mission to the United Nations Office in Nairobi; the Kenya Permanent Mission to the United Nations Environment Programme; Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations HABITAT; and as Kenya’s Permanent Representative to our Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Ambassador Kamau has under his sleeve in excess of 24 Years of a cross section of expertise and skills in areas dealing with Political, Development and Policy Work, Strategic Planning, Negotiation, UN Reform, work at Senior levels across a number of the UN agencies including UNDP, UNICEF, GF and UNTAG, all undertaken across several regions in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean as well as North America.

He served 16 Years in Senior Country Leadership and Management at UNDP and UNICEF; 7 Years as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative (Botswana and Rwanda); 6 Years as the United Nations Children Fund Representative (Eastern Caribbean and South Africa); 3 Years as the Chief, UN and External Relations, Office of Executive Director, UNICEF HQ, New York among others.

He has also demonstrated exemplary leadership in global negotiations, has been credited with the super consensus building during his co-chairing of the negotiations that concluded the Sustainable Development Goals; UN Peace and Security, including co-chairing the UN Peacebuilding Commission, UN Governance Board, serving as a Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General on several tasks, and received medals and awards in recognition of his work.

Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary, International Trade

Dr. Chris Kiptoo is currently leading our delegation in negotiations towards the Continental Free Trade Area in Kigali, Rwanda, and therefore unable to join us at this media briefing. 

Dr. Kiptoo was appointed as Principal Secretary, International Trade in 2015 and has since taking office accomplished a great deal within that time; he oversaw the Signing and Ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the Development of the National Trade Policy (NTP) and also spearheaded the development of Kenya’s e-trade portals which made Kenya the first country in the East African Community (EAC) and Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) to comply with Article 1 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Prior to his appointment Dr. Kiptoo was the Kenya Country Director of TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) during which time he grew a strong and invaluable partnership with the government. Before that, he held various senior positions, with the Office of the Prime Minister in Kenya, Capital Markets Authority (CMA), Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

  1. This team, is supported by a strong technical team led by Tom Amolo, Political and Diplomatic Secretary and more than 17 Directors and Heads of Divisions that lead teams on specific thematic issues and regions of the world.
  2. This team interacts first with a growing diplomatic corps based in and out of Nairobi following fifty-six missions. Our footprint in Africa is represented by twenty (20) Missions, eight (8) in Asia and Australasia, six (6) in Middle East, six (6) in Americas, fourteen (14) in Europe, and the largest United Nations footprint in the global south that includes the United Nations Office in Nairobi, UNEP, UN Habitat and a wide representation of regional UN Agencies and programmes. These are in addition to a large humanitarian outfit that services the Greater Horn of Africa as well as Central Africa that includes the United Nations Operation in Somalia, South Sudan and Eastern Congo.
  3. n addition to these international governmental actors in another set of non-governmental organizations including the International Red Cross and Crescent Societies, Oxfam–Uk which is now Headquartered in Nairobi and numerous other international configurations including members of the media family that operate out of Nairobi.
  4. In addition to what we can call public stakeholders in a growing number of international investors and private sector actors. As our environment of doing business improves and as we became more and more attractive for investment, we see a growing number of interested actors on our shores to explore the possibility of engagement and investment, and standing up investment.
  5. Combined actions and engagement with these myriad of actors makes the operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade a tapestry of action at different levels and on different issues. What then, dear ladies and gentlemen are the strands of this tapestry from the Kenyan perspective? In other words what constitutes our foreign policy in the face of these growing interest in Kenya?
  6. Our foreign policy is shaped by two mega trends:
  • The fast changing global environment that may be defined by increased uncertain and lack of adherence to the norms that have driven international relations. For instance, there is growing narrow nationalism, increasing unrestiveness among populations, dynamic that have changed the global power structures, etc.
  • On the other and related to us is the growing demand for Kenya’s leadership – at the regional, African and even global stage. We are called upon to provide not just thought leadership but demonstrative leadership across many issues – peace and security, governance, environmental sustainability, technology and innovation, etc.
  • In the light of these two mega trends, our foreign policy seeks to achieve a vision of a peaceful, prosperous, globally competitive Kenya. We seek this vision through a number of strategic pillars and focus areas, pursued within the core of our foreign policy, namely Pan Africanism.  We believe that our peace, prosperity and sustainability is inextricably linked to Africa.

Growing our prosperity 

7. Core to building our relations with the rest of the world is to aspiration to create opportunities for our people and nation, in order to prosper. We express this aspiration as economic diplomacy.  This is the basis of our strong investment in the integration agenda within the East African Community. Last week the 19th East African Community Summit, having deliberated on the infrastructural and health needs of the region, directed the Council of Ministers to mobilize resources required for implementation of new and on-going priority infrastructure projects in the region.  The imperative to make the EAC work in a manner that grows our shared prosperity will see us, in the Ministry invest a lot of energy on our Partner States Uganda – which is a second largest trading partner, Tanzania which is our third largest trading partner, Rwanda, Burundi and even South Sudan.  It also means we shall forge stronger working relations with our sister Ministry of East Africa – lead by Honourable Peter Munya.

8.The second concentric circle of our Africa Policy is the African continent. The Ministry will continue to drive the efforts to grow the intra Africa trade which still stands at a mere 12 percent compared to 26 percent of inter-Asian trade or 60% of the intra-European trade.

9. Kenya has been at the forefront in driving the negotiations towards the Continental Free Trade Agreement. Currently, Dr. Kiptoo is leading the Ministerial team in the final negotiations of this important instrument that is critical to unlock the trade potential on the continent. The main objective of the CFTA is to establish a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement among the 54 members of the African Union that will allow free movement of goods and services across the continent. The CFTA, therefore, seeks to establish a larger market with the aim of boosting intra-Africa trade.

10. The CFTA Agreement will comprise the Framework Agreement, Protocol on Trade in Goods, Protocol on Trade in Services, Protocol on Dispute Settlement and associated annexes and appendices. Other Protocols on Intellectual Property Rights, Investment and Competition Policy shall form an integral part of the Agreement but will be concluded in phase two of the negotiations. It has also been agreed that the Agreement and the Protocols on Trade in Goods, Trade in Services, and Dispute Settlement Rules and Procedures shall enter into force thirty (30) days after the deposit of the fifteenth (15th) instrument of ratification to the AU Secretariat.

11. It is expected that the agreement on the CFTA will be signed during the forthcoming Extra-Ordinary Summit scheduled for 21st March in Kigali. The conclusion of the CFTA and the forthcoming launch of the Continental Free trade area will mark an important milestone for Africa. The official launch of CFTA will send a bold and clear message that Africa has positioned itself to be the preferred investment destination of choice.

12. We have moved ahead of the CFTA. In an effort to demonstrate our commitment, President Uhuru Kenyatta on Jamhuri 2017, opened Kenya for Africa and announced that all Africans would get visas upon arrival. This action is aimed at encouraging the movement of people, services and goods. It is, therefore, our intention to intensify negotiations of favourable frameworks that will enable Kenyan goods and services to access African markets across the continent, and beyond.

13. Within the context of the African Union, I am committed to working closely with all African countries in the implementation of Institutional Reforms of the African Union – particularly with a view to reduce the degree of its dependence on non-member states and entities and ensure implementation of Agenda 2063. Through the creation of partnership for the Agenda 2063 Flagship projects, including the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA); Silencing the Guns by the year 2020; and regional infrastructure programmes.

Peace and Security

14. The realisation of our aspirations for growth is tied to stability within Kenya and our region. This is the reason why we remain focused on the pursuit of peace and security in our region.  The stability and development of Somalia is key for Kenya’s and the region prosperity. This explains why Kenya remains a strong voice for Somalia in the international system.  This is a role we shall continue to take in order to mobilise the international community to help Somalia back on its feet, to free it from terrorists and set it on a path of development and prosperity.

15. In view of this we shall along with the other Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) and the Somali Government will petition the UN Security Council to reconsider the resolution on drawdown of AMISOM troops, restore the previous troop levels and stay any further reduction to allow recovery of territory still under control of Al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups.

16. We are optimistic that the Government of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo will build on the gains made and the people of Somalia will define a path to determine their own destiny. Especially with regards to the progress made in the political process in Somalia, notably with regard to relations between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the Federal Member States, the constitutional review process and the development of an electoral system towards 2020 elections. Kenya will continue to offer support to Somalia.

South Sudan

17. Kenya remains steadfast on its longstanding commitment in search for stability and lasting peace in South Sudan. It is unfortunate that the conflict in South Sudan has entered its fifth year, despite the initiatives at the national, regional and international levels to address the political and security crisis. The magnitude of the humanitarian tragedy occasioned by the conflict, especially population displacements- internally and the growing number of refugees to the neighbouring countries remains a deep concern.

18. Kenya continues to encourage all Parties to uphold their commitment to Cessation of Hostilities to facilitate a conducive environment for a credible, inclusive political dialogue through which the legitimate and reasonable concerns of all South Sudanese are addressed to ensure a win-win solution.

16. The security situation in the Great Lakes Region in general and the DRC and Burundi in particular need to be addressed both at Regional and International levels. The Political instability and the myriad of conflicts in the region continue to be of great concern as they continue to experience various security challenges.

17. There is need for Regional and International partners to extend support to the DRC to facilitate the implementation process of the political agreement signed on 31 December 2016, and the holding of peaceful elections in December 2018

 Mapping the world to leverage on the implementation of the Big Four

18. The ministry will also focus attention on leveraging partnerships that help us deliver on the Big Four agenda, namely Food security, Universal Healthcare, decent housing and manufacturing. These agenda speak to the human security – ensuring that we do not leave any of our people, especially the vulnerable and weak behind.   It also seeks to guarantee the freedom from indignity and vulnerability caused by the last of the basic needs and services: food, shelter, good health and jobs and empowerment.

19. The ministry has commenced a global mapping exercise, first to establish the competitive advantage for these services and secondly partners that are able to work with our private sector and government to deliver on this agenda at an optimal cost.

20. In this regard, we will be looking at the various regions and countries of the world to assess both opportunities, establish risk profiles in order to enable us to work to reduce any of the risks that may slow our implementation.

21. From South East Asia, through the Middle East, Europe, the Americas and in Africa, the Big Four has been embraced with enthusiasm. We, at the Ministry, will be working to translate this enthusiasm into optimal support – to enable our country to be food sufficient, to enable our country to add value to the production chain, have our people be healthier and therefore more productive and have our people- particularly get jobs.

22. We will intensify our negotiations with old but also new friends and partners, and grow the numbers and level of visits and engagements. As you already know, we shall be hosting the USA Secretary of State tomorrow, next week we shall be receiving a number of foreign ministers as well.  Furthermore, a number of key meetings speak directly to the Big Four agenda. For instance, the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will focus on securing the future, contributing to a sustainable future, and seeking a more prosperous and fair future for all.

Multilateral Candidatures

23. At the multilateral level, Kenya will continue to make its contribution – in the implementation of the sustainable development goals, in advocating for environmental sustainability, advocating for the strengthening of the UN footprint in the global south and seeking reforms of the United Nations system.

24. As part of this engagement, we shall be seeking for a seat in the UN Security Council for the period 2021-2022 at the elections to be held during the 74th Session of United Nations General Assembly to be held in June 2020 in New York. Kenya’s candidature is informed by the critical role of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) play in the maintenance of global peace and stability. In that regard, Kenya has served twice as a Non-Permanent member of the UNSC in 1973-1974 and 1997–1998.  As a country, we believe that Peace, security and development are interlinked and mutually reinforcing, and neither can be achieved without the other. Addressing drivers and root causes of the absence of peace and security is of critical importance for Kenya.

25. Even as we go through the candidature process, we look forward to cooperating with all countries for more robust cooperation and engagement on issues of peace and stability and where Africa’s and developing countries sustainable development is realized.

26. We shall also continue to lobby for the recruitment of Kenyans in the international system in order to contribute to global programmes and governance.

Diaspora

27. The commitment of our government is to secure all Kenyans wherever they are. In this, my ministry will continue working to improve the framework for securing the interests of Kenyans abroad; and for enabling Kenyans to participate in the development of their motherland at home. In this regard, we shall fast-track the negotiations of frameworks that protect Kenyans when they are abroad, endeavour to assist them and also inform and urge them to undertake due diligence in order to avoid situations that could be harmful to them.  In this regard, we shall continue to strengthen the diaspora directorate within the ministry in order to serve Kenyans better.

Conclusion

28. As I conclude, I reiterate the availability and readiness of the ministry to share information and clarify any issue pertaining to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In view of this commitment, it is, therefore, my sincere hope that unverified, even wrong information on the state of our diplomacy and international relations will be a matter of the past.

I thank you for your kind attention.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

March 8, 2018

Kenya Appreciates Cordial Relations with Japan – Amb Amina Mohamed

SPEECH FOR USE BY AMB. (DR.) AMINA C. MOHAMED, EGH, CAV, CABINET SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS DURING THE RECEPTION TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTHDAY OF HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR OF JAPAN

DECEMBER 7, 2017

Your Excellency Ambassador Toshitsugu Uesawa,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. I am delighted to join you all here today to celebrate His Majesty the Emperor’s birthday and the National day of Japan. I take this opportunity to convey on behalf of the Government and people of Kenya warm birthday wishes to His Majesty Emperor Akihito, and gracious congratulations to the Imperial Household, the Government and the people of Japan. We share in your joy on this auspicious occasion. His Majesty the Emperor is not only a symbol of the state but a symbol of unity of the people of Japan who have lived in peace and prosperity in the 29 years of the ‘Heisei’. (**Heisei is the period in which the Emperor has reigned**)
  1. I also wish to congratulate His Excellency Shinzo Abe on his victory in the recent Diet elections and successful re-election to the high office of the Prime Minister of Japan. His Excellency’s triumph portrays the confidence the people of Japan have in him.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. I note with deep appreciation the longstanding partnership and collaboration between our two nations that spans over five decades. Our relations are strong and steadfast. We anticipate progress into new areas of bilateral cooperation as Japan remains a reliable development partner and a trusted friend to Kenya.
  1. We are cognizant that Kenya occupies a special position in Japan’s diplomatic and economic engagement within the region and appreciate that Japan has chosen Kenya as the regional headquarters for its major agencies; the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). This confidence is a true reflection of the trust and devotion Japan places in the relations between our two countries. Our investment journey is encouraging but needs continuous nurturing and enhancement. We will continue to urge Japanese companies to increase their presence or start relations with us.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. In particular, I convey my sincere gratitude to the government of Japan for their support in Kenya’s successful hosting of the Sixth TICAD Summit held in Nairobi last year. TICAD VI, the first one held in Africa, was a tremendous success and remains a unique process that has contributed immensely to Africa’s development and regional integration agenda.
  1. The TICAD Summit was a confirmation that it is a robust engine of African development built on the twin principles of African ownership and international partnership. We remain seized on implementing to the fullest, the set targets in the Nairobi Declaration. Since TICAD’s inception, major projects have been implemented and I want to highlight a few: The construction of Ngong and Ring roads; the opportunities to study through the ABE initiative; Universal Health Coverage (UHC); and clean energy through the Olkaria geothermal power Sondu Miriu Hydropower projects.
  1. I acknowledge and appreciate the effective role of the follow-up mechanisms that are in place such as the recent Ministerial Meeting held in Maputo this August which plays a significant role in ensuring efficiency and quality results. I also welcome new initiatives to boost efficient implementation and enhance public awareness of Japan – African Cooperation. These initiatives should strengthen (1) liaison, coordination and linkages with stakeholders and (2) provide visibility and strategic communication with the public. TICAD is indeed a beacon of excellence to many other partnerships and conferences in development.
  1. I also appreciate the State visit to Kenya by H. E. Premier Shinzo Abe where bilateral discussions with H. E. the President yielded results including the modernization of the Port of Mombasa and development of the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Kenya and Japan continue to work together at the multilateral fora and especially in the United Nations and its agencies in order to achieve the much-desired Reforms and to push to action emerging issues of global significance. 

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Government of Kenya notes with concern the prevailing situation in the Korean Peninsula. We wish to reiterate that the Government of Kenya stands together with nations in condemning acts that threaten security, peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and calls for the peaceful resolution of disputes.

I specifically want to assure Japan of Kenya’s supports on the draft resolution of a “united action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons” and our backing during the UN plenary meeting later this month.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Finally, I am greatly honoured to have received the award of “Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun” conferred to me by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan in May this year. I recognize and accept this award as an indication of the confidence the Government and people of Japan have in our relations. I assure you that the Government of Kenya, will continue working closely with Japan to strengthen our relations and further advance our friendship and partnership for the mutual benefit of our great nations. I take this opportunity to convey my deepest gratitude for this honour to His Majesty, the Government and people of Japan. I also appreciate the tremendous support accorded to me by Your Excellency Ambassador Uesawa and your Mission’s staff.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. I would like to join you in celebration on this day and now request that we rise and offer a toast:

“To the good health and long life of the Emperor, His Majesty Akihito, and to a future of prosperity and friendship between the people of our two great countries!”    

Dōmo arigatōgozaimasu.

Kenya Readies for WTO MC11 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

STATEMENT BY AMB. MONICA JUMA (DPhil), CBS, PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AT THE NATIONAL PREPARATORY COMMITTEE WORKSHOP FOR THE 11TH WTO MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE (MC11), HELD AT THE AT MAANZONI LODGE, MACHAKOS FROM NOVEMBER 14-17, 2017

Dr Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary, State Department of Trade

Mr Ahmed Farah, Country Director, Kenya Trademark East Africa

Representatives of Ministries/ Departments/Organisations,

Distinguished Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. I am delighted to be here today to officiate the Opening this National Preparatory Committee Workshop for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference. This Workshop is important to Kenya because it gives us an opportunity to adequately prepare a country position that will guide our deliberations at the 11th Ministerial Conference. As a founding member and a significant player at the WTO, the Ministerial Conference provides us with a platform to contribute to the development of the rules of the global multilateral trading system at the highest level.
  1. At this juncture allow me to extend my sincere appreciation to TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) for supporting the Government of Kenya in convening this important workshop. This support comes two years after the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference held in Nairobi in December 2015, in which TMEA’s contribution was highly invaluable.
  1. As it may be recalled it was here that we gathered from 9th – 12th July 2015, to finalise our position paper for the 2015 conference. The outcome of Maanzoni was not only utilised for the MC10 but also provided guidance to the African Ministers of Trade Meeting which took place during the same month at Boma Hotel, Nairobi.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. The 10th WTO Ministerial Conference held in Nairobi in December 2015 was a wonderful and historic experience. It not only reaffirmed the working of a multilateral trading system for the benefit of all but also fortified Kenya’s centrality and contribution to the WTO agenda. Kenya’s meticulous coordination and shepherding of outcomes provided many lessons for future hosts. It is worth noting that as we prepare for MC11 to be held in Buenos Aires next month, Argentina has expressed her eagerness to learn from Kenya’s experience. It was against this recognition that our Cabinet Secretary, Amb. Amina Mohamed was invited to Argentina earlier this year, by the incoming Chair H.E. Susana Malcorra, to share Kenya’s experience as the Chair of MC10.
  1. In addition, Kenya was invited to the WTO Mini-Ministerial meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco last month, for consultations on the issues that will form the agenda of the MC11, a further demonstration that Kenya will be an important player in Buenos Aires, and this certainly calls for adequate preparations to facilitate constructive engagements in the forthcoming Conference.
  1. As you may be aware our Permanent Representative to the WTO, Amb. (Dr.) Stephen Karau is leading the agriculture negotiations in Geneva, as the Chair of the Special Session of the Agriculture Committee. In this position, he has the daunting task of bridging the WTO Members’ extreme positions and building the elusive consensus. For instance, while some Members, such as Kenya advocate for the capping of the overall trade-distorting support (OTDS) in agriculture, other Members like the Group of 10 (G10), which is made up of developed economies, have taken the position that WTO Members should only focus on the reduction of the difference between their bound commitments and the current applied levels.
  1. Agriculture negotiations are key to most of our countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, who depend on the sector for their livelihood. Therefore, progress in the agriculture negotiations on critical issues such as domestic support, market access and public stockholding for food security, will represent a major gain for Kenya and other developing countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. It is worth noting that the regional integration commitment will not be realised if some countries are still outside the multilateral trading system. As a matter of fact, it is difficult for Kenya to negotiate bilateral or regional trade deals with countries that are not members of the WTO. Therefore, Kenya should continue to encourage and assist all the countries in the region and beyond, which are outside the WTO, to take the necessary steps towards the painstaking accession process. Being a founding member of WTO and an active supporter of the African Group, Kenya has the obligation to support the neighbouring and other African countries in the accession process.
  1. In doing so, it is important to take cognisance of the strong voices in many developing countries and LDCs, particularly from their civil society organisations and lobby groups, against the WTO. A common perception is that the WTO robs states of their sovereignty and policy space to regulate sectors such as the environment, human rights and health. Therefore, as we lobby countries in the region to join the WTO, let us be aware of such perceptions and encourage these countries to look at the overall economic benefits of the multilateral trading system. In any event, almost all the remaining countries are lining up to join the WTO, which currently has 164 members.
  1. It is in this context that we recently hosted a regional dialogue on accession to the WTO, where countries in the process of acceding to the WTO, were invited to share experiences. It is important to note that of the 21 countries that are currently in the process of acceding to the WTO, 8 are African, 4 of which are from the Eastern African region. These are Comoros, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. South Sudan, which also attended the dialogue, is soon expected to make a formal accession request to the WTO. In Buenos Aires, Kenya will be pushing for support by the WTO membership towards the countries in the process of acceding to the WTO. Indeed, this was the decision of the Nairobi Regional Dialogue. We thank the University of Nairobi for partnering with us and the WTO to organise the Regional Dialogue Conference. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. The outcome of the MC10 contained important commitments on the elimination of export subsidies in agriculture; LDCs issues; and the elimination of tariffs on information technology products, among others. This was a major achievement which built on the gains of the 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia in 2013. The Nairobi outcome also brought the WTO agenda back on track, given the divergence of Members on many issues during the negotiations in Geneva. In addition, the confidence in the WTO was at its lowest due to lack of progress in the implementation of what was to be the Doha Development Agenda.
  1. As we look forward to a productive MC11, may I take this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders who have participated in the preparation of the matrix that outlines Kenya’s draft position on the MC11 agenda. I am informed that the draft will form the basis of the discussions in this workshop and I am also optimistic that the outcome of this workshop will be a well-thought-out Kenya’s position that will stand the test of the rigorous deliberations in Buenos Aires.
  1. Let us keep in mind that any positions that we take or proposals that we make, should always reflect the best interests of our country. We must leverage every opportunity to improve our economy, our balance of trade, and the livelihoods of the people of Kenya. Therefore, even as we ponder on how to address the highly contentious issues at the WTO, let us look out for, and take advantage of any low hanging fruits in this process. Where possible, let us utilise the multilateral trading system for the benefit of our hardworking farmers, our resilient industries, our robust service sector and above all, our dynamic exporters.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Allow me also to extend my appreciation to Maanzoni Resort for the continued hospitality during preparations of these WTO forums. Indeed, this Resort has become part and parcel of Kenya’s contribution to the WTO negotiations and a place where important outcomes that inform Kenya’s position are generated.
  1. Let me conclude by emphasizing that it is now the policy of the Government of Kenya to involve all the stakeholders not only in policy formulation but also in its implementation. It is, therefore, encouraging that this workshop has diverse participation from the private sector, the civil society, the academia and the public sector. This diversity will, without doubt, enrich the outcome of our consultations. I, therefore, wish you fruitful deliberations and effective participation in Buenos Aires.

With these few remarks, I declare this workshop officially open.

Thank You.

 

Diplomats Warned on Overreaching Tendencies

14TH DIPLOMATIC BRIEFING

BY

AMB. MONICA K. JUMA, DPHIL, CBS

PRINCIPAL SECRETARY

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA

 

 NOVEMBER 7, 2017

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, NAIROBI, KENYA

 

 Excellences, Ambassadors and High Commissioners;

Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

Good afternoon; 

  1. I am delighted to welcome you to the 14th briefing session for members of the Diplomatic Corps. I wish to thank each one of you for honouring our invitation.
  1. Since our last briefing held on 26th of September 2017, a lot has happened. It is therefore opportune for us to share information on the government position on these issues and exchange views on matters of mutual interest.
  1. In the last few briefings, I have focused attention on our elections. Today, my brief will draw on a cross-section of diplomatic activities because there is more to Kenya than elections. In this regard I shall speak to:
  1. The 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly and its outcomes
  2. Participation at the 68th session of the Executive Committee of the UNHCR programme
  3. Preparations for UNEA-3
  4. Developments in the Region
  5. On-going Bilateral engagements, and
  6. An Update on the post-election context.

THE 72ND SESSION OF THE UNGA

  1. Kenya’s delegation to the 72nd session of the UNGA was led by Amb. Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Kenya welcomed the theme of the session, striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet.   The Sustainable development goals architecture is critical to our growth and development. It is on this basis that his Excellency the President established an SDGs partnership platform that aims to accelerate the attainment of the SDGs in Kenya. We have made significant gains one of which is the drastic reduction in maternal and child deaths. We believe that Kenya’s gains can only be sustainable if we preserve, conserve and mitigate any hazards to our environment.

 

  1. During this session, we also participated in meetings on peace and security specifically related to the Horn of Africa and the African Union Mission in Somalia, South Sudan, and forced migration. We also reaffirmed our commitment to help UNEP deliver on its mandate as the leading global environmental authority and the de-facto parliament on environment. It is desirable that all UN member states support UNEP to achieve its mandate. This can be through the implementation of paragraph 88 of the Rio Declaration, endorsed by Heads of State and Governments that called for the strengthening of UNEPs regional presence and consolidation of its Headquarter functions in Nairobi. We call on each one of you to convey our request to your governments to offer this and give this matter the attention it deserves. 

PARTICIPATION IN THE 68th SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF UNHCR

  1. In light of our commitment to make our contribution in relation to the challenge of forced migration, we participated in the recently concluded 68th Session of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner’s Programme. During the session the Government of Kenya announced its application of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) with regards to refugee management in Kenya. Kenya now joins eleven (11) other countries applying the CRRF.
  1. Historically, Kenya has received and continues to receive hundreds of thousands of refugees. Our application of the CRRF is to ensure that Kenya’s capacity to address this shared responsibility is bolstered by the New York commitments to evolving comprehensive response to large movements of refugees, based on the principles of international cooperation as well as burden and responsibility-sharing. We strongly ascribe to the framework currently under discussion, whose key objectives are to: ease pressures on host countries; enhance refugee self-reliance; expand access to third-country solutions; and support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity. If well implemented it would ensure that countries particularly those neighbouring source countries do not shoulder disproportionate burden in relation to refugee assistance and protection.
  1. In this regard, I laud the European Union’s initiative to provide 50,000 new resettlement places for refugees in protracted refugee situations. It is our hope this opportunities will also be availed to protracted refugee situations such as those in Kenya. 

PREPARATION FOR UNEA-3

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen 

  1. As you are all aware UNEA-3 is scheduled to take place between 4th and 6th December 2017 in Nairobi. As a country that has pioneered work on environmental management, this conference reaffirms the place of UNEP and Nairobi as the centre for environmental governance. You will know that since the 1990s, we have had a resolution that reaffirms the place of UNEP passed annually.  We are pleased to confirm that Kenya, as host to UNEP is ready to support the hosting of a successful and memorable session of UNEA-3.  UNEA-3 will be executed under the theme “towards a pollution-free planet”.
  1. I wish to report to this meeting that the UNEP team led by the Erik Solheim, Executive Director-UNEP held a comprehensive briefing with Ambassador Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs on Monday in which the status of preparedness was discussed at great length.
  1. Towards that endeavour, I want to assure all of you that all the relevant government departments and agencies are on board through the inter-ministerial committee co-chaired by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that all necessary logistical arrangements are in place and on time.
  1. As is customary, the conference will be fully secured. As we draw closer to the Conference, further security reviews shall be undertaken to enhance security around the city, with particular attention to UNON – Offices, all UNEP recommended hotels as well as the major roads.  To ensure smooth flow of the traffic, a comprehensive traffic management plan has been developed. I can therefore guarantee that there will be smooth flow and unhindered movement during this session.
  1. We are expecting to receive a number of high level delegates, including Heads of States and Governments, as well as celebrities. So far, we have received confirmations at the Head of State level from Sri Lanka, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Three other countries have given a very strong indication that their Heads of State/ Government will participate.
  1. As of 6th November, we had received confirmation from 74 Ministers and over 100 delegations. The President of the UN General Assembly and Heads of UN agencies will be in attendance at this assembly. We are currently finalising the logistical note for delegation, including issuance of visas on arrival and setting up a dedicated desk at the JKIA to facilitation of delegates seamlessly, Kenya will provide transport and security for all the Ministers.
  1. I take this early opportunity to welcome and extend the Kenyan hospitality to all delegates to this conference.
  1. The government will host a reception through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources for the delegates on Monday, 4th December, 2017 at the UN Compound. We welcome all of you to join in this ice-breaking session alongside your delegations.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

  1. As has been tradition, it is expected that H.E. the President will grace this assembly and deliver the key note address at the opening ceremony. We are also working towards his participation in the leadership dialogues alongside other visiting Heads of State and Government.
  1. On substantive matters of UNEA-3, I can confirm that apart from the assembly there will be a number of signature side events that we hope all our delegations will participate in. Pollution from plastics is a key focus for Kenya. Those of you that have lived in this country for the past few years will attest to the menace caused by plastic carrier bags. In view of this, the Government took the brave step of banning plastic carrier bags, and put in place a hefty fine for the sale, manufacture, use and importation for commercial and household packaging, of USD 38,000 or a 4-year custodial sentence. The ban has been very successful and dividends are already visible.
  2. At UNEA-3, Kenya will host a side event to share her experience on effective implementation on the ban.
  3. Additionally, Kenya together with Norway, China and Brazil will co-sponsor a side event on forests and life on land at the Karura Forest on Sunday 3rd December to highlight the importance of forest management and their role in mitigating the effects of climate change. We look forward to all of you joining this exciting session.

 UN-HABITAT

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

21.   I also wish to brief on the current discussion on governance reforms of UN-Habitat. The G77 and China has tabled a draft UN- Habitat resolution that is currently under consideration by Member States under the 2nd Committee of the ongoing session of the General Assembly. The resolution seeks to respond to the recommendations contained in the assessment report by the High Level Panel on enhancing the efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and financial capability of the UN – Habitat.

22. The resolution being coordinated by Kenya on behalf of the G-77 and China covers the following substantive issues: –

  1. increased financial resources from the UN- regular budget
  2. establishing a coordinating mechanism within the UN- Habitat, and
  3. establishing universal membership/ Executive Board

23.  As Member States, we need to make every effort to ensure a successful conclusion of governance reform of UN- Habitat. We are convinced that the survival and future financing of UN- Habitat in a sustainable and predictable manner is conditional to the changes that will ensure transparency, effectiveness, efficiency and accountability.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

24.  Permit me to take this opportunity to reiterate Kenya’s unequivocal commitment and support to UN- Habitat, and its planned and on-going efforts aimed at strengthening its effective service delivery. I am convinced beyond measure that working together in this partnership, we shall attain our collective objective to make UN- Habitat fit for purpose to assist in providing technical support in growing sustainable global urbanization.

25.  It is in our best interest to conclude discussions on the institutional reforms of the UN- Habitat to get the organization back on its feet as soon as possible. In that pursuit, Kenya will engage constructively with all Member States to ensure a consensual outcome. 

DEVELOPMENTS IN THE REGION

26.  It is clear that the threat of Al Shabaab remain potent. On 14th and 28th of October, shortly after the UNSC Res 2372 (2017) on AMISOM, we are witness to tow of the most tragic attacks on Mogadishu that left more than 400 people dead, and many others injured.  These heinous attacks reaffirm our strong belief of the need for the international community to pay the commensurate attention to the threat of Al Shabaab. Following the attack on Mogadishu, the Kenya government donated 16 tonnes of medicines to the Somalia and evacuated some of the injured persons for treatment in Kenya.  I commend other governments that also extended the assistance to Somalia in response to this heinous crime.

27. The lukewarm treatment of the Al Shabaab threat and the failure of the international community to provide the requisite support to AMISOM is an indictment on our collective responsibility. The threat to Somalia is not for the Horn of Africa alone but a threat to international peace and security. It is our hope that the investment of this region in Somalia will find equivalent commitment in the international community.  As a member of the TCCs, Kenya continues to call for the provision of adequate and sustainable resources for the African Union Mission in Somalia.

28.  We continue to engage as part of IGAD on the process seeking to revitalise the peace agreement in South Sudan. Meanwhile we, a neighbour, welcome the lifting of sanctions by the United States on Sudan.

29.  The dynamics in the Horn of Africa continue to be of concern. In early October, at the invitation of the African Union, we participated in a Strategic Consultative meeting on the Horn of Africa in Khartoum. The meeting, bringing together the African Union (AU), Inter-Government Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Sudanese Government sought to develop a shared strategy towards addressing the complex challenges in the Horn of Africa.  The meeting examined the long standing and emerging peace and security challenges, strategic trends in the horn and the red sea arena and the prospects for regional integration.

30.  The meeting proposed several interventions in addressing what are complex and interconnected challenges. These included:

  • The imperative to protect and deepen democratization in the region by creating strong institutions;
  • Developing a shared vision that supports a trans-national strategy for implementing all aspects of development and the fight against terrorism;
  • Borrowing on best international practices in relation to experiences on regional integration; and
  • The need to have an interface between the Horn of African within the framework of the IGAD and the Middle East, within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

31.  As Kenya, we believe strongly that the on-going dynamics which are transforming the Horn of Africa into a competitive arena for international actors and interests could negatively impact on-going efforts to stabilize an otherwise politically and ecologically fragile and insecure region.

 BILATERAL RELATIONS

32.  On our bilateral front, I wish to sincerely thank the Governments that have recognised that heightened political activity and rhetoric is normal in electoral periods, and that have continued to deepen our bilateral relations. In this regard, I wish to express our gratitude to the French Government which through its Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the French Ministry of the Economy partnered with our Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperative to convene a successful session of Les Rencontres Africa 2017 in Nairobi.  Between 5th and 6th October 2017, Nairobi was a host to more than 500 African business leaders from more than 20 countries, and heads of 150 French Companies in an encounter that focused on seven major sector specific themes that explored investment opportunities in the East African market, innovative approaches to building a skilled force for Africa, funding solutions to investment and value addition in the agricultural sector, among others.

33.  We are also preparing to receive a number of bilateral delegations from various countries including Ireland and Belgium and wish to reaffirm our readiness to continue deepening bilateral relations.

 POST-ELECTIONS DYNAMICS

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

34.  On Thursday October 26, 2017, we went to back to the polls for a Fresh Presidential election. As you will recall, and as briefed in our last session, following a petition by NASA Presidential candidate challenging the declaration of H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta as President-elect, on September 1, 2017 the Supreme Court nullified the results of the Presidential election and directed the IEBC to conduct fresh election within sixty days.

35.  The IEBC immediately embarked on preparation. Some of the key changes made by the Commission to address the shortcomings that led to the nullification included: –

  • Installing Safaricom SIM Cards as the primary service provider in all KIEMS kits due to her network reach to increased capacity, and variously Airtel and Telkom in all the Kits as secondary;
  • Candidates seconded two (2) ICT Agents each, who were embedded into the IEBC’s electoral technology team, with defined rights, to participate in verification of the transmission of results;
  • Printing out Forms 34B by all the 291 returning officers and to give copies to all candidates for verification;
  • The National Returning Officer [NRO] would only announce results after physically receiving all Forms 34As and signing a handover of Forms 34Bs.

36.  On October 10, 2017, Hon. Raila Odinga announced his withdrawal from the Presidential election slated for October 26, 2017 citing the 2013 Supreme Court’s Judgement in presidential petition, which, by way of obiter dicta, the Court determined that if a candidate withdrew from the elections, the entire process would revert to nominations. He continued to agitate and lead unending demonstrations under the clarion “no reforms, no election.” Notably, one of his close advisers had, before the ink dried after nullification in press conference stated that “there would no election in Kenya”. Hon. Raila is on record that elections would be held on his own terms, that mutated to “irreducible minimums” etc. Furthermore, NASA was categorical that there would be no election even if the proposed amendment laws were withdrawn as this would not satisfy their demands.

37.  Up to the election date, Hon. Raila Odinga had only written to the IEBC a letter of withdrawal but failed to complete Form 24A as required by the law for any withdrawing candidate.

38. On October 11, 2017 the High Court ordered inclusion of Third Way Alliance Presidential Candidate Ekuru Aukot who had challenged exclusion of his name from the list of contestants in the fresh presidential poll, thus opening an avenue for all the presidential candidates of the election held on 8th August 2017, to participate in the fresh elections.

39.  On October 18, 2017 one of the Commissioners fled duty, having been sent to inspect the final status of ballot printing. Upon departure, she travelled to the USA from where she announced through the media, her resignation based on numerous unsubstantiated claims.  The following day, the IEBC Chairman addressed the press and while confirming the departure of the commissioner assured Kenya that this would not affect plans to hold the elections as planned. He further underscored the value of consolidating and strengthening institutions to support the democratization agenda.

 Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 40.  Despite the atmosphere created and threat to violence and intimidation promised by the opposition, Kenyans submitted to the decision of the Supreme Court and went ahead to express their sovereign will on Thursday 26th October, 2017 in numbers well within any curve of a repeat election anywhere in the world.

 41.  The voting process proceeded smoothly with the opening and closing of polling stations as well as the counting processes. However, due to adverse weather elections in five constituencies in Turkana and Fafi were held on 28th and 29th October 2017. Regrettably, elections in 25 constituencies in four Counties in Nyanza (Siaya, Kisumu Homa – Bay and Migori) were postponed owing to violence unleashed on the electoral process including attacks on IEBC officers, obstruction of electoral materials by opposition followers, who were acting in response to calls from their leaders.  It is instructive to note that notwithstanding the threats and active violence by the opposition, and the purported call to boycott the elections, only two counties –Siaya and Homa Bay, had nil-return.

42.  H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected, having met the constitutional threshold of more than half of the total votes cast (7,483,895) votes accounting for 98.26 % of the votes cast) and at least 25% in at each of more than half of the Counties (The President met this threshold in 45 Counties of the 47 Counties in Kenya). On October 30, 2017, the returning officer of the Presidential election, who is the chair of the IEBC called the election and announced President Kenyatta, President elect.

43.  In line with our Constitution, any dissatisfied party is allowed to approach the Supreme Court within seven days of this declaration. Yesterday, we are informed some private citizens submitted a petition at the Supreme Court seeking the nullification of the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

44.  As we await the outcome of the petition filed last night, I wish to reiterate the Government’s commitment to the rule of law, preservation and strengthening of independence of institutions.

REACTIONS TO OUR ELECTION

 45.  When I made my first briefing on the elections on December 13, 2016, I urged members of the diplomatic community to engage during our election period within the acceptable diplomatic conduct, underscoring that the matter of the social contract in any society is determined by the citizens of the country. I take this opportunity to commend the conduct of the diplomatic community during this period. However, we have observed a creeping of interest in our electoral process that could be termed as an overreach from some quarters.

46. Of concern to us has been a creeping skewing towards what we believe to be a deliberate effort to create an appearance of a crisis. The formulation of this context, driven from the opposition propaganda, is a concern to us. From where we sit, the government is fully operational, all activities are on-going – examinations are in session, movement on our roads in on-going, businesses are open, there is no state of emergency or any sense of anxiety.  We have not seen an increase in unusual activity – so we are concerned about the murmurings going on in some quarters that suggest that there is need for negotiation because of a presumed crisis.

47.  We are aware that some members of the diplomatic community were canvassing for the postponement of the elections less than 48 hours to the October 26, 2017. While we think this was regrettable on a number of fronts, it is now behind us. As we await the outcome of Supreme Court, it critical for me to remind us all that the matter of determination of leadership in any country is not a diplomatic endeavour. It is therefore important that the diplomatic community operates within their scope of work and leaves matters internal politics to Kenyans. This is the practice the world over and Kenya is no exception. In view of this, I wish to underscore that the manner in which Kenyan emerge and evolve and determine how they govern themselves is a preserve of Kenyans.

48.  Having stated this, I wish to also remind that Kenyans in their 2010 constitution framed the manner in which they wish to govern themselves, and also outlined the modalities for dealing with any disaffection. It is not the place of any ambassador or representative of another government to determine this for Kenyans. In the light of this, I convey the government’s strong displeasure at reports appearing in our media today that a group of diplomats were in discussion on matters secession of a territory of the Republic of Kenya, and marginalisation or lack thereof of sections of this country. Having served as a diplomat myself, we know that we are accredited to central governments and every diplomat presents credentials to the Head of State. As far as I recall every diplomat in this room presented credentials to the Head of a unitary state. It is therefore not appreciated that any diplomat would hold discussions with anyone that touch on the territorial integrity of Kenya.

49.  I wish to end with a recall of my first briefing on election preparedness in Kenya that I referred to earlier in my statement. During that session, I made, and I quote, “a direct appeal to all of you to send positive messages that inspire the confidence of our citizens, in the established institutions, as well as to your countries, in order to minimise misconstrued signals that sometimes could lay fertile grounds for exploitation.”  I wish to reiterate that call today.

I thank you for your kind attention.

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

NOVEMBER, 2017

 

 

CS Amina Mohamed Briefs African Ambassadors on Upcoming Elections

REMARKS BY AMB (DR.) AMINA MOHAMED, EGH, CAV CABINET SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS DURING A BRIEFING WITH THE AFRICAN DIPLOMATIC CORPS AT THE HOTEL INTERCONTINENTAL, NAIROBI ON 5TH OCTOBER, 2017

Amb. Monica Juma, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

H.E Kelebert Nkomani, Dean of The African Diplomatic Corps

Hon. Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed, Senior Advisor on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Office of the President

Excellencies

Ladies and gentlemen

Thank you very much for your presence at this briefing. As you are aware, Kenya is a nation that is guided by the tenets of the Constitution and is open to constructive engagement with all actors based on the principle of sincerity, reciprocity and mutual respect. As representatives of Kenya’s sister countries on the continent, it is important that we continue to engage on the prevailing electoral matters in the country.

Over the past year, Kenya has witnessed unprecedented democratic moments. A comprehensive and consultative pre-election process, a historic, peaceful election on 8th August, 2017 with the largest voter turnout in our history, H.E The President’s monumental statement respecting, although not agreeing with the decision of the Supreme Court to annul the Presidential election and his unequivocal call on Kenyans to remain peaceful following the decision. Kenyans’ peaceful acceptance of the Supreme Court’s decision was inspiring and laudable.

Following the Judgement by the Supreme Court and other Judgements and Rulings by the High Court and the Court of Appeal in the period preceding the General elections, Parliament has realized the need to seal the gaps in the existing law through a public-participatory legislative process.

These events have received remarkable attention from all corners of the world. However, in certain instances, the reports have not been accurate. Therefore, as Kenya continues to prepare for the Presidential election scheduled for 26th October 2017, and following the last briefing by the Principal Secretary on 26th September, 017, we have decided to continue our engagement with you on the current state of election preparedness. Particularly, the ongoing legislative process in Parliament.

Hon. Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed who is a Senior Advisor on Constitutional and Legal Affairs in the Office of the President will take us through the legislative process and other emerging legal aspects.

I thank you.

PS Monica Juma Briefs Nairobi-Based Envoys

Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners;

Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

Good afternoon; 

  1. I welcome you to this 12th briefing session for members of the Diplomatic Corps based in Nairobi. Today’s engagement should have been on the modalities of the swearing in which would have been in another 5 days. Instead, it will focus on the state play in terms of the envisaged fresh Presidential Election, scheduled for 17th October 2017.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. When I addressed this gathering on 16th August 2017 I indicated our understanding of what the August 8th General Election meant for us. It was a demonstration of a watershed moment in our political history. It was a transitional test and a clear validation of the Kenyan Constitution promulgated in 2010. During the same briefing, I stressed that the elections, while consolidating our democratic credentials, tested the capacity and maturity of the established, and or reformed, institutions to discharge their mandate efficiently and effectively. I also indicated that we were keen to engage in sharing lessons learnt as a basis for improving our electoral management in the future.
  1. In line with this, I led a delegation to engage with the AU PSC on 24th August 2017 – during which in a review of about 7 elections from across the African continent, there is a steady and deepening development of democratisation values and practices. I want to thank the African Union for their continued solidarity with Kenya and our electoral process.  To-date a team of no less than 16 observers is still in Kenya accompanying this process.  We look forward to the successful completion of their mission and report.  We are confident that its conclusions and recommendations will go a long way in the improvement of our electoral management.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

  1. Since then, I dare say that our democracy has evolved further. We have been through another watershed phase.  We have been through a second presidential petition since our last constitution.   As you are aware, on 11th August 2017, the IEBC declared results of the Presidential polls where H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta was declared President elect and H.E. William Ruto declared Deputy President elect, with a margin of more than 1.4 million votes.  Following the announcement, and consistent with the provisions of Article 140(1) of the Constitution, the opposition, led by Hon. Raila Odinga and Running mate Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka, after an initial phase of declaring that the court was not an option, and following enormous pressure from both local and international actors, launched a petition on 19th August 2017.
  1. In compliance with section (2) and (3) of article 140, the Supreme Court, therefore, determined the petition and made a ruling on 1st September 2017. On this day, Kenya’s political history was a top story globally. Our Supreme Court in a majority of 4 decision (with 2 dissenting opinions) invalidated the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.  In its ruling, of some 193 words, the Court without reference or calling out on the voting process or participation of the citizens, who engage in voting to determine their sovereign will determined that the;
  1. a) “the 1st respondent (The IEBC), failed, neglected or refused to conduct the Presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the Constitution and inter alia the Elections Act, Chapter 7 of the laws of Kenya.”
  1. b) that the irregularities affected the integrity of the Presidential Election and
  1. c) that the court found no misconduct on the part of the 3rd
  1. Significantly, the Supreme Court then directed that the “the 1st Respondent to organise and conduct a fresh Presidential Election in Strict conformity with the Constitution and the applicable election within 60 days of this determination under Article 140(3) of the Constitution.
  1. As you are all aware, the Supreme Court did not provide the detailed judgement of the Majority bench and decided that it would issue this within 21 days of the determination. We are still awaiting this decision (which in effect eats into the statutory 60 days of preparation for the election). Nonetheless, let me do some reflection on it in terms, even without the benefit of the full judgement.
  1. Undoubtedly, the ruling was and remains baffling in terms of the options that the Supreme Court opted for. Considering that the raison detre of an election is to determine the will of the people – one would have expected a focused attention on whether this will was manifest and whether any irregularities were significant to impact it to the extent of changing the results. Seemingly, this was not an issue and maybe that is the reason that the Supreme Court did not opt for a recount decision.  From observations across the country, we know that ballot papers are still intact decision the most since it based nullification on irregularities which is new in our constitutional jurisprudence. The ruling seems to have centred on the transmission of the results to the election tallying centre rather than in the voting and counting processes at the polling stations.
  1. No doubt this determination will remain a matter of curiosity for legal and political analysts and practitioners beyond Kenya. This is so because for the 1st time in the history of election petitions, (and there are only three of this kind – where a victory has been annulled) a determination has been made whose core concern is NOT the will of the people but the processes of transmission. We heard a lot about signatures or lack thereof, of forms 34A or 34B but the decision of a voter is registered on a ballot paper where each one of us checks off, not on a transmitting device or a collation form where an officer would make a mistake or deliberately distort, with an IEBC that is constrained by law in terms of whether it can change any mistake. A likely interpretation of this judgement is that numbers of voters and the will of the people do not matter! And if this is the case the fundamental question for the democratic project is, can a court, any court, overturn the will of the people on the basis of a technicality?
  1. The second significant decision was the determination that the 3rd Respondent E Uhuru Kenyatta did not commit any electoral misconduct. This is a critical ruling because there has been huge propaganda and allegations that the President and his team were intent on, and engaged in, rigging and subverting the vote. In other words, this determination reaffirms what has been the commitment of the President to a free, fair and credible election – but more fundamentally his commitment to run his campaign as governed by the rule of law.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen 

  1. Yesterday as I perused through the ongoing commentaries, I was caught by one that observed as follows: “When in the future, many years today we look at Kenya today we shall look at President Uhuru in awe and wonder.”
  1. Within hours of the determination by the Supreme Court, President Kenyatta and his Deputy went out to a very restive country in general and his support base in particular. In a clear and firm manner, he urged peace, peace, peace and calm among all Kenyans.  He indicated that although he did not agree with the decision of the Supreme Court, he respected it; urged all Kenyans to be ready for a repeat election; urged the IEBC to announce an election date; and called on his supporters to reaffirm his victory.
  1. These pronouncements, this clarity by the President calmed the country and even as some pockets of opposition in the country went about celebrating the decision, the entire country was country – with no incident of violence. By Monday Kenya was functioning normally.
  1. Undoubtedly the 1st September ruling is of great magnitude. As consistently affirmed in my past briefings, Kenya has built a great resilience in systems, democratic governance with a society that has progressively matured.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Even after the ruling, Kenyans conducted themselves with the highest degree of maturity and responsibility by maintaining peace while at the same time noting that they are ready to go back to the ballot box for the second time round and to exercise their democratic right.
  1. On the 4th of September 2017, the IEBC announced a new date for the repeat of the Presidential elections, which is now scheduled for 17th October 2017. There will be no fresh nominations and two Presidential candidates will be on the ballot, namely H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and Hon. Raila Odinga. The Commission has begun reviewing critical operational and procedural requirements for the conduct of the elections and has called for patience and understanding.
  1. The President and his party have welcomed this decision and by all indications begun preparations for the election. On the other hand the opposition has in the meantime come out to criticize the credibility as well as the announcement by IEBC.  For those following the evolving of this electioneering period, you will know that the opposition has contested, protested and sought to change or derail the process from the beginning.
  1. This latest move by opposition is worrying since the announcement was within the timelines set by the court. It is worth noting that the Commission cannot deviate from the order given by the Supreme Court. We know that the Supreme Court did not question that ability of the IEBC to conduct elections and while making its ruling (we would assume) knew and understood the competencies of IEBC and that it would be able to carry out this mandate within the timeline provided.
  2. Seemingly, the Supreme Court decision seems to have triggered a number of election petitions. From less than 50 last week – by yesterday we had 116 petitions against elected members. Including 4 at senatorial level, 3 women representatives, 12 gubernatorial petitions were launched yesterday alone.
  1. Needless the cost of the ongoing processes to the Kenyan tax payer is colossal. Starting the market reaction to the Supreme Court decision, on 1st to the slowing of economic performance. The increased petitions are also going to take out of the exchequer. Thankfully our economic fundamentals remain sound and we hope that our friends and partners will not create panic because the country is calm and functioning normally.
  1. Another worrying observation has been the effort – somewhat subtle at times, to try and do what one of the observers was calling “nuancing” their observation. It seems that some people want to explain away the ruling of the Supreme Court.  What we are witnessing is history in the making and we hope that stereotypes steeped in narratives that seem to have defined Kenya and Africa do not obviate what is happening in Kenya – which I think is by all definitions unprecedented. The IEBC has conducted an election under less than normal circumstances; our security forces have conducted themselves in a level of professionalism that is commendable.  We saw them being taunted, some being attacked while they exercised significant restraint.  But we hear murmurs about police brutality and attacks; unverified allegations of violence against civilians. Interestingly, I am yet to hear anyone condemning attacks on the security actors in their efforts to ensure rule of law and public safety.
  1. The above notwithstanding, there have been many positives on the Kenya General election process. These, combined with the observations of the missions add to the credence in our democratic processes. The August elections and its after processes provide an opportunity for all of us to reflect on how the electoral process went and how, in the future, we can deal with challenges in a better manner.
  1. It is critical that as we enter into the second round of the elections that as partners and friends of Kenya you assist us as follows:
    1. Underscore the need to observe the rule of law and respect for our constitutionalism, and this includes especially providing space for the mandated institutions to prepare to deliver a free, fair and credible election.
    2. In this regard, I think that our international partners need to encourage the various arms of government to exercise due diligence in allowing the others to function. In the run up to the August 8th election, we saw our judiciary close to running the IEBC – actually almost forgetting that this is a constitutionally independent body.  Now that the Supreme Court has made a determination and directed the reorganisation of an election, it is critical that the IEBC is provided with the space to execute this task.
    3. Engaging with the opposition is also critical – to ensure that we go through this phase without generating tensions and creating uncertainties or disruptions to Kenyans lives. We have had calls that could distort the school examination calendar, we have had calls that could all together plunge this country into a constitutional crisis, we have heard calls that could precipitate a civilian coup.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

24.   In conclusion, I wish to revisit the principles we continue operating under the principle of rule of law; the independence and integrity of key institutions and the importance of accepting the will of the people. With regard to the rule of law and independence and integrity of institutions, let me single out the following, which will continue to play a critical role even as we prepare for the Presidential re-run scheduled for next month. In this regard,

25.   I wish to assure all your governments of this administration’s commitment to adhere to all tenants of the rule of law. Kindly convey this unrelenting commitment to your capitals and I wish to take this opportunity to once again welcome all those that are interested to send observer missions to commence preparations for this – within the laid down laws and regulations.

  •  The Security Apparatus: The Security apparatus have continued to ensure that all Kenyans are safe and free from harm despite challenges occasioned by Al-Shabaab intermittently, in some parts of the country. They will continue maintaining peace and security, and I can without hesitation confirm to you that the government is ready to continue providing optimum security during this period and through the repeat elections, and after. We hope our performance endeared confidence in our capabilities.
  • The Judiciary: The Judiciary will continue playing their independent role. Their commitment to finalise with election petitions by January 2018 is welcome. We hope that the big picture of this will continue being relevant.
  • The IEBC: It is our sincere hope that the Electoral Commission will receive the needed space and support from all the stakeholders to enable them to conduct the 17th October election.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

26.   Looking forward and as we gear towards the repeat of the polls, I want to reiterate that the Jubilee Government is keen to implement its agenda as listed in the Manifesto. The agenda seeks to consolidate gains made in economic growth over the last 5 years. The commitment to the people of Kenya is to continue working with all Kenyans under the vision centred on the three critical pillars of transforming lives, the Society and nation at large.

27.    I also want to reflect the current business environment which has remained favourable even during the electioneering period. The reality of democracy in every country is that there are lows during elections such as the one witnessed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange as well as the money market. Investors and the business community should remain confident about the Kenyan economic environment. This is because Kenya has one of the most progressive constitutions and the Government will always be on hand to ensure safety of all Kenyans, investors, and foreign nationals resident in Kenya as well as respect the will of the people.

  • As friends of Kenya, we request you to signal to your capitals that our democracy is functioning well. Kenyans are moving forward with their day to day activities. We are striving to enhance and entrench our democratic credentials as well as the independence of all our institutions.
  • I also request you to message that Government of Kenya continues to seek the same support as that rendered prior and after the August 8th elections. This support will consolidate efforts geared towards ensuring that we deliver during the repeat of the Presidential elections. In addition, we are open to receive International Observers once again since we believe that they have a role to play in enhancing democratic processes and at the same time increasing domestic confidence in the electoral process. This process as you know will be managed by IEBC.

I thank you for your attention.

12TH DIPLOMATIC BRIEFING

BY AMB. MONICA K. JUMA, DPHIL, CBS

PRINCIPAL SECRETARY

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2017 3:00 PM

HOTEL INTERCONTINENTAL, NAIROBI, KENYA

 

CS Amina Mohamed Tips Chevening Scholars

REMARKS DELIVERED BY AMB (DR.) AMINA C. MOHAMED, EGH, CAV, CABINET SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON THE OCCASION OF THE DEPARTURE OF THE 2017 KENYAN CHEVENING SCHOLARS TO THE UNITED KINGDOM.

 H.E. Nic Hailey, British High Commissioner to Kenya,

H.E. Susie Kitchens, Deputy High Commissioner,

Ms Jane Gitau, Chairperson of the Chevening Alumni Group Network,

Members of the Chevening Alumni Group Network

Distinguished guests

Departing Scholars,

Ladies and gentlemen. 

  1. I am delighted to join you tonight to celebrate the warm and strong relations between Kenya and the United Kingdom. This event marks over 30 years of Kenya’s participation in the Chevening program. Join me in a round of applause in expressing our gratitude to the Government and people of the United Kingdom.

 

  1. For the 24 scholars who were identified for the 2017/18 program, today symbolises an incredible milestone in your academic and professional lives. You have been recognized as Kenya’s most promising and exceptional young leaders have gone through the rigorous application and interview processes. We are very proud of you. My message to you this evening is really simple: Kenya looks up to you, do not disappoint her.

 

  1. More than twenty years ago, I stood here ready and excited to depart to the University of Oxford’s Foreign Service Programme on a Chevening Scholarship. Even though I knew how privileged I was to receive one of the most coveted scholarships in the world, I did not at the time, appreciate the significance of the network that opportunity presented. You are joining a wealthy network of professionals who will soon be at the helm of development and governance in their countries. This will be a great opportunity for you to establish and maintain these networks, many of which will help support your professional life. I can attest that some networks have resulted in deep and long-term bonds of friendship, which have been extremely useful in my career as a diplomat and lawyer.

 

  1. Chevening sends you to some of the best and most prestigious universities not only in the United Kingdom but also around the world. This will give you an opportunity to intensely explore a wide range of prospects and passionately enhance your academic and professional pursuits. The United Kingdom has an abundance of historically rich and cultural sites. I, therefore, encourage you to take some time off your studies to venture out, explore and travel wide. Such activities will undoubtedly improve understanding between the people of our two countries. You will learn about the culture, habits and practices of the British and hopefully, through you, they will also learn about us.

 

  1. Kenya and the United Kingdom enjoy long-standing historical ties with close cooperation in the key sectors of security, education, healthcare, trade and investment. The United Kingdom is the largest foreign investor in Kenya with more than 210 British companies, including Standard Chartered Bank, Vodafone, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever and De la Rue, having a presence in Kenya, it is Kenya’s 3rd largest trading partner after Uganda and our largest source market for tourism. British investments are valued at more than stg £2.5 billion, we exported goods worth KES 40.67 billion and received a total of 52,920 British tourists. And tonight as you can see ladies and gentlemen, this Chevening Program is yet another area in which we cooperate to build capacity and create a lasting relationship.

 

  1. Each and every one of you will be our Ambassador at whichever University or city you will be domiciled in. Please forge deep and lasting relationships with the people you encounter and encourage them to visit and do business with our country.

 

  1. I personally had a remarkable experience at Oxford and I wish for each and every one of you to have a similar or richer experience.

 

  1. I wish you all the very best!

 

  1. May I now invite you to join me in toasting to the cordial relations between Kenya and the United Kingdom….and to the departing scholars have a whale of a time!

Thank you!