AU Summit Underscores Fight Against Corruption

Nouakchott, Mauritania, Friday, June 29, 2018 (MFAPress) — Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb Monica Juma joined other Foreign Ministers for the 33rd Ordinary session of the African Union Executive Council in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The Executive Council is the second statutory meeting ahead of the AU Heads of State and Government Summit.

During the opening session, Foreign Ministers discussed progress made on different fronts as well as challenges faced in achieving peace, stability and development on the African Continent.

The Cabinet Secretary is leading the Kenyan Delegation to the Heads of State and Government Summit after H.E Uhuru Kenyatta was unable to attend the summit.

The theme of this year’s summit is winning the fight against corruption.    Estimates indicate that the African continent is losing to the tune of 50 billion USD in tax evasion annually and is also paying huge amounts of money to poorly negotiated and inflated contracts, and enormous amounts of resources spill owing to corruption. In an aspiration to deal with this, the January summit of 2018, agreed to focus attention on anti-corruption in the year 2018.  Together with the fight on anti-corruption, the AU is also focused on a reform agenda to inject efficiency and effectiveness in its organs and programmes.

Making her contribution at the Executive Council meeting the Cabinet Secretary underscored the imperative of strong political commitment, institutional reforms and people’s participation in the fight against corruption. The council also considered the state of humanitarian situations in Africa during which the CS underscores the need to evolve a holistic strategy that addresses both the relief but also development needs of populations affected by disaster, as well as the need to build the capacity of various actors to respond swiftly and effectively to disasters.

While commending the Audit report of the AU organs, she insisted on the need to take action against any impropriety, strengthening their financial management systems as well as the Union’s capacity to supervise the management of resources by the AU Organs. She underscored that the Union must, “enhance integrity especially at this time when our citizens are calling on their governments to account for every cent of public finances”.

On the AU Budget for 2019, she lauded the Commission for involving the Ministers for Finance in its preparation, noting that this gives ownership and commitment to the process by the Member States. She also noted that the People of Africa and their respective Governments have invested their dreams and aspirations in the African Union, highlighting that the Union offers the best platform within which the continent can realize the quest for Peace and Stability; and economic transformation to assure a better life for all our people and an environment in which current and future generations can realize their full potential. In Johannesburg in 2015, Member States committed to own the Union by funding it 100 per cent, and further reinforced that commitment by adopting the decision on effectively financing the Union through the 0.2% levy on eligible exports in Kigali in 2016.

She said it is against this background that the Union needs adequate resources, both human and material, to implement the various ambitious programmes that will later be adopted by the Heads of State and Government Assembly.

During the Executive Council meeting, Hon Justice Ben Kioko was re-elected as a judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights. Hon. Justice Ben Kioko, a national of Kenya, will serve for a second term of six years. He was first elected as a judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in July 2012. He is currently the Vice-President of the Court.

The Cabinet Secretary will on 30th June attend the C10 meeting on UN Reforms, the Peace and Security Council which will deliberate on South Sudan and participate in a Panel on empowering women leaders.

 

President Kenyatta bids Farewell to Three Outgoing Ambassadors

NAIROBI, Wednesday, June 27, 2018, (PSCU) —President Uhuru Kenyatta this morning bade farewell to three outgoing ambassadors whose tour of duty has come to an end.

The three outgoing ambassadors are Botswana High Commissioner, John Moreti, Egyptian Ambassador Mahmoud Ali Talaat and the Outgoing Director General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) Sahle-Work Zewde.

President Kenyatta thanked the three diplomats for their commitment in improving relations with Kenya during their tour of duty.

The President emphasized on the need to strengthen bilateral relations with Egypt and Botswana so as to improve trade.

He said the Africa Continental Free Trade Area  Agreement (AfCTA), which was ratified this year in Kigali, Rwanda, offers all African countries opportunity to increase trade amongst the continent’s nations.

The President said he looks forward to working closely with Egypt and Botswana to increasing trade, the movement of goods and services so as to offer better opportunities to their citizens.

He also said the new trade pact would also enhance people to people relations amongst the people of Africa thereby improving socio-economic development of the continent.

While bidding farewell to the outgoing Director General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) Sahle-Work Zewde, President Kenyatta expressed satisfaction on the role played by the UN office in Nairobi in facilitating partnership with other international organizations.

The President said the UN offices in Nairobi continue to play a major role in providing leadership and encouraging partnerships amongst nations thereby encouraging people to people relations.

Present during the function were Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba and Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau.

Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit Kicks off in Nairobi

NAIROBI, 26 JUNE 2018 (PSCU) ­­– The Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) Summit kicked off in Nairobi this morning.

The conference being hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta is being attended by Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda while President Salva Kiir of South Sudan is represented by a special envoy.

Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burundi and DR. Congo are attending today’s summit as observers.

The Heads of State are expected to discuss the progress of mega infrastructure projects designed to benefit the wider Eastern Africa region.

Specifically, the leaders will discuss the progress of implementation of the outcomes of the 13th Summit, which was held in Kampala in April, 2016.

Top on the agenda of the summit is the progress of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project, which is being constructed in all the four Northern Corridor countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Kenya has already completed phase one of the SGR running between Mombasa and Nairobi while phase two of the SGR between Nairobi and Naivasha is 50 per cent complete.

The other Northern Corridor countries are at different stages to actualize the construction of the SGR.

Other issues to be discussed include ICT infrastructure development aimed at promoting regional inter-connectivity, Oil Refinery Development following the discoveries of oil in Kenya and Uganda, where the two now join South Sudan as oil producing countries.

Power Generation, transmission and Inter-connectivity in the wider region, Air Space Management, Human Resource Capacity Building and the establishment of a single Customs territory are other key issues expected to feature at the Summit.

The Northern Corridor Integration Projects is a multilateral development initiative established in 2013 to speed up growth in the region through the improvement of infrastructure for ease of movement of people, goods and services.

In total, there are 16 key Infrastructure and socio-economic concerns that the NCIP focuses on, with the ultimate goal of improving the infrastructure for business, and ensuring inclusive growth that leaves no one behind.

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Rwanda President Paul Kagame during the 14th Summit on the Northern Corridor Integration Project at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Uganda President Yoweri Museveni during the 14th Summit on the Northern Corridor Integration Project at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi
Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta addressing Heads of State and Government during the 14th Summit on the Northern Corridor Intergration Project at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Mr Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, representative of South Sudan President Salva Kiir during the 14th Summit on the Northern CorridorIntegrationn Project at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi

President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the visitors

book flanked by DP William Ruto and MFA

CS Monica Juma

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.

 

Shujaa, Kenya Navy Ship Calls at Port Said, Egypt

Shujaa, Kenya Navy Ship (KNS) docked in Port Said in Egypt on June 12, 2018. Shujaa is a Swahili word for Hero, and indeed this Kenya Navy vessel is celebrated as a heroine, having been part of the Kenya Defence Forces fleet that took over Kismayu from the Al shabab in September 2012.

The Ship was received by Maj Gen (rtd) Joff Otieno, Kenya’s ambassador of Kenya in Egypt. Shujaa, captained by Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Lekolool, has a crew of 61 Kenya Navy sea men that are on a training cruise across the globe. The voyage began its high seas engagement on May 21, 2018 and will continue for a period one month and a half, expected to dock in Mombasa on July 4, 2018.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has facilitated the practical tours and training programme of our defence forces, as part of strengthening Kenya’s security in general, and maritime capabilities in particular.

CS Monica Juma Hosts Diplomatic Corps to ‘Bush Dinner’

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised Diplomatic Tour to Mt Kenya tourism circuit came to close today Saturday, June 2, 2018.

The tour started on the eve of Madaraka Day where 47 diplomats from different countries resident in Nairobi enjoyed the hospitality of Mt Kenya Safari Club in Nyeri County.

On day two the delegation attended the National Madaraka Day celebrations at Kinoru Stadium Meru County and later in the evening Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary, Amb Monica Juma hosted a dinner for the diplomats in the bush where they were able to enjoy the different Kenyan cuisine. In attendance was South Africa Deputy President Mr David Mabuza.

Day three the Diplomats were taken for a game drive to Ol Pajeta Conservancy in Laikipia County where they experienced different flora and fauna in the park.

A major attraction was a visit to the Rhino sanctuary inside the conservancy where the diplomats learned the measures being undertaken to protect the endangered rhino species. The sanctuary is the home to the only two remaining northern white Rhinos in the World and 110 endangered black Rhinos.

Finally, the delegation had lunch at Trout Tree Restaurant famous for it unique design built on a large Mugumo tree (Agikuyu sacred fig tree) and whereby the trout fish served comes from pond beneath the tree.

The Diplomatic tour is an initiative of Cultural Diplomacy Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and aims to showcase the Kenya heritage and tourism attractions. It’s hoped the tour will inspire the diplomats to share the rich Kenya heritage and tourism.

The diplomats were accompanied by Director cultural diplomacy Ms Hellen Gichuhi and Protocol Officer Ms Nancy Sifa.

Kenya-Botswana Seek to Grow Trade

Gaborone, Saturday, June 2, 2018, (MFA Press) — Kenya and Botswana will work closely through their respective business people to encourage trade between the two countries which currently is way below potential, Hon Ababu Namwamba, Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has said.
Speaking when he presided offer the 2nd Kenya-Botswana Diaspora Investment Forum held today at Fairgrounds Holdings, Gaborone, Hon Namwamba said Kenya and Botswana had cordial relations at the political front that must be replicated in a robust business-to-business relationship on the trade front.
“We have agreed with the Minister for Investment, Trade and Industry Madam Bogolo Joy Kenewendo to revisit a 2016 Memorandum of Understanding that clearly stipulates how our two countries can trade better and increase the volumes which as we speak remain way below the actual potential,” Hon Namwamba told the Forum.
He said ways to grow volumes of trade between the two countries include joint participation in trade-oriented activities, deliberately promote ICT, e-commerce and exchanges on the livestock industry. Kenya will at the same time encourage its traders through the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to develop tourism products including golf courses such as the one desired in Lobatse as well as taking advantage of the ready-to-go industrial infrastructure in the mining region of Selibe Phikwe.
Hon Namwamba called on the Kenya Diaspora in Botswana to lead the way in these investments. “In the words of JF Kennedy, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask instead what you can do for your country. Please be good ambassadors for Kenya”, he implored.
He further urged them to exploit opportunities presented by government focus on the Big 4 sectors of food security, affordable housing, universal healthcare and manufacturing. Hon Namwamba also invited both Kenyans and Batswana investors to strongly engage in both the Botswana Global Expo of October 31s to November 2nd and Kenya’s International Blue Economy Conference slated for November 26-28 in Nairobi.
“More than the economic capital you provide through remittance, you possess a wealth of experience and know-how in many disciplines that would be of great beneficial back home and even your current host country,” he told the Diasporians.
He said the Government was working to harness the collective collateral of the Diaspora’s business contacts, networks, opportunities, successful ventures, influence and power developed over time to leverage Kenya’s position and interests in the globe.
He said efforts by the Government to engage the Diaspora has borne good result exemplified by the growing Diaspora remittance which is currently estimated at Kshs. 222 billion; the largest foreign exchange earner ahead of Tourism and horticulture. It is estimated that if this trend continues, remittances could increase from 195 Billion in 2017 to  250 Billion in 2018, an increase of 25%, accounting for 3.7% of the GDP.
Hon Namwamba further assured the Kenya Diaspora and all potential investors that Kenya was a strong trajectory of political stability with all key economic and social fundamentals looking upwards.
“The political situation is calm and positive with His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto firmly in charge. Kenya today is a land of warm handshakes and hugs. Your investment will be in a very safe and secure environment. So even out here please keep shaking hands and hugging as you increase your remittances and investment portfolios back in Kenya!”, he quipped.
During the function, the Chairman of Kenya Botswana Diaspora Association Mr Tom Ochieng Atonga briefed the CAS on the challenges they currently face as Diaspora and requested that the Government intervenes to resolve them.