1. Kenya is a member of the African Union Committee of Ten (C-10) on United Nations Security Council Reforms and firmly supports the African Common Position referred to as Ezulwini Consensus:
    2. Africa Common Position
  • Africa seeks comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council in order to reaffirm its role as the central body for the governance of international peace and security.
  • Africa, as many other Groups and States, would like the UN Security Council, to be more representative of the current UN membership, accountable, transparent, more effective, equitable and inclusive.
  • Africa seeks the expansion of both the Permanent and Non-Permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
  • Africa is the only region that is not represented in the Council in the permanent category
  • Ezulwini Consensus seeks two Permanent seats with veto power and five Non-Permanent seats for Africa. This position was reaffirmed by the Sirte Declaration of July 2005.
  1. The Committee of Ten on UN Security Council reforms continues to meet regularly and brief the Heads of State and Government of Africa.
  1. Africa continues to engage actively with all Groups and States in order to achieve the desired comprehensive reforms for an effective UN multilateral system and through the formal UN Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN).
  2.  The Committee of Ten remains seized of its mandate until Africa achieves its objectives on the reform of the United Nations Security Council.
AUGUST 31, 2016



Ms. Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International

Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Special Envoy on Gender and Vice President of the African Development Bank

Hon. Dr. Gertrude Kitembo, Minister for Posts, telephones and Telecommunications of the Democratic Republic of Congo

Hon. Awut Deng Acuil, Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare of the Republic of South Sudan

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to join you all for this African Women Leaders Symposium. I take this opportunity to acknowledge, at the very outset, the presence of distinguished participants from other parts of Africa including my Sister and former colleague Hon. Dr. Olubanke King Akerele, the former Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia. We welcome you all most warmly to Kenya and to this symposium.

I wish to express our gratitude to the Deputy President His Excellency Hon. William Ruto and his staff, as well as Oxfam International, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Trade Mark East Africa and all other organizations that have partnered in organizing this Symposium.  Expanding the choices for women, and especially increasing the number of women in leadership, remain one of the most pressing agenda of our time.

I am confident this symposium will generate practical ideas and commitments that will further advance this agenda by harnessing the talents of women to transform not only their lives, but our societies in their entirety.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We now know that the most important determinant of the competitiveness of countries and even companies is their human talent – that is, the skills and productivity of the workforce. Harnessing the talents of women who comprise half of the world’s available talent pool, therefore, has a vast and direct bearing on how competitive a country or company may become. Our hope of transforming African economies, therefore, lies on how effectively we are able to harness women talents in all areas of human endeavour and especially in leadership.

Since the Beijing Platform for Action, substantial work has been done and today many of the fundamental building blocks for expanding the space for women are in place. The 2015 Global Gender Gap Report captures the status of women empowerment more clearly. While progress is uneven across countries and regions, the report indicates that globally the gender gap in education attainment stands at 95%, or 5% away from parity. Health and survival is closest to parity, at 96% with 40 countries having closed this gap entirely. The gender gap in accessing economic opportunities has closed by only 3%; while only 23% of the gender gap in political empowerment has been closed.

Africa has not faired particularly well. Only 17 African countries were among the top 100 countries in closing gender gaps in education, health, economic opportunity and leadership. Rwanda, the best performing in Africa, was number 6 in overall global ranking.  Kenya was number 48. In terms of closing the gender gap in political empowerment or leadership, Kenya ranked number 62 while Rwanda was number 7.

Stubborn inequalities therefore remain. As of August 2015, only 22 per cent of all national parliamentarians were female. Moreover, the number of women in the labour force only increased marginally from 1.5 billion in 2006 to 1.75 billion in 2015; meaning only an extra quarter billion women have entered the labour force in nine years. The Gender Gap report estimates that it will take the world another 118 years – or until 2133 – to close the economic gender gap entirely.  I doubt anyone of us will be around.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Engaging those in authority in pushing the agenda of women empowerment is an important first step towards improving the prospects for women. I am convinced that it will only take us 118 years to close the gender gap as suggested in the 2015 Gender Parity Report if, and only if, we continue doing business as usual – that is if we leave most of the work for women empowerment to women’s organizations, activists and others who are not in positions of authority.

We must therefore increasingly work with those in authority – with CEOs, with parliamentarians, departmental heads, ministers and even Heads of State. This approach – where those in authority are in the driver’s seat – will greatly improve our effectiveness in ensuring equal access to opportunities for women, in putting in place organizational structures that will ease the burden of balancing work and domestic responsibilities for women and in the development and implementation of supportive public policies especially in agriculture and the SMEs sector where the majority of women earn their income and livelihoods.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Opening up opportunities and putting in place supportive policies will not help if women don’t have faith in themselves or possess the necessary skills and knowledge. We must therefore scale up efforts to help women develop confidence in themselves by countering socialization narratives that encourage women to be followers, not leaders.

We must socialize upcoming generations of girls – from the formative stages as they go through education and as they grow in their careers – to believe in themselves, to dare dream and to have faith in their ability to be leaders, to be wealthy people, to be outstanding thinkers and innovators.

Women need to bear the words of Maya Angelou in mind “If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be”. We must also impress on them the need to think big in the spirit of the words of H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and I quote: “The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”

Regarding skills development, it is encouraging that the gender gap in education has narrowed impressively. However, we must be keen to ensure that our young women and girls acquire the right qualifications. In particular, we must emphasize leadership training. Leadership, we must remember, has nothing to do with gender and neither is it a charismatic happening or phenomenon.

Leaders are not born but made through the process of socialization, education and training. We can train women leaders through exposure by identifying talented girls and women and giving them assignments that will build their confidence as well as skills in leadership. Providing opportunities to lead early in life will build confidence and offer a sound foundation for future leadership.

But to further reinforce education, we need to establish effective informal and formal professional networks to which aspiring women can turn for mentorship. Many of our girls grow up believing that their worth depends on appearance.  They are, however, more likely to develop leadership aspirations if there are visible women leaders to emulate.

Professional networks are not only avenues of sharing knowledge and experiences but also connecting young women and girls to established people in their communities or professions. Women don’t have the equivalent of “old boys” networks which are immensely effective in helping men to access opportunities. Without necessarily creating old girls networks, we need mechanisms that will help women to access experienced leaders and those who make decisions or appointments in the sectors that interest them.

Finally, striking the right balance between family life and professional work is core to the success of women. To succeed, women must learn to strike the right balance by making deliberate efforts to delegate and share responsibilities. This is something that’s important at every level of a woman’s career – in whatever business they are in. We must therefore strive to identify and work with talented people and to leverage their aptitudes. In this regard, I conclude with the words of Anthea Turner “the first rule of management is delegation. Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t.”

Thank you



KICC Ready to Host TICADVI


Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism,
Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri, Cabinet Secretary for Devolution,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Once again we are gathered here – at the iconic Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), in the “World’s Wildlife Capital” – to commemorate the official hand-over of KICC to yet another international conference of global magnitude.

As you are aware, from 27th – 28th August, 2016 Kenya will host the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) Summit in Nairobi.

Co-organised by the Government of Japan, the African Union Commission (AUC), the UNDP, the World Bank Group and the United Nations, the event will bring together more than 30 Heads of State and Government, over 10,000 delegates from around the world, as well as numerous international and regional organisations. This event, ladies and gentlemen, will be the largest Kenya has ever hosted.

With an African agenda, Japanese support and a global audience, the Conference draws its unique mandate from the extraordinary commitment to collaborative development displayed by all co-organisers, as well as the unyielding determination of the African populace.
Coming barely a month after a successful UNCTAD 14 Conference, TICAD VI is poised to channel the legacy of unity and commitment we saw last month, and similarly produce a Nairobi Declaration that is uniquely suited to address the issues raised by all stakeholders.

Substantively, the Conference is essentially a mid-term review of the status of implementation of the targets agreed to in the TICAD V Summit in Tokyo in 2013. With various TICAD programmes already underway across Africa, this is indeed an opportune moment to take stock of existing challenges and emerging opportunities that are crucial to the continued success of the TICAD agenda.

The Conference is therefore of great historical significance to Africa, particularly so to Kenya. Since its inception in 1993, TICAD has been held in Japan every five years. This will therefore be first time the Conference is held on African soil, and more excitedly for us, under the Kenyan sun.

As a country and indeed on behalf of the Continent, we simply cannot overstate the enormous pride we feel as we host TICAD VI.

It is therefore my pleasure to invite Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet secretary for Tourism, to officially hand-over the premises to the TICAD VI Secretariat.

Karibu Waziri