Local links best weapon against hunger

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Small-scale farmers till their land in Ikolomani, Kakamega County, on March 1, 2017. Enabling growth in farming means working with the wider ecosystem and its stakeholders

The government has food security as a pillar in its Big Four Agenda.

If it is that serious about food security, then its Big Four implementing agencies must consider partnerships with local agricultural and development organisations that have already deeply invested in our farming communities.

In his State of the Nation address earlier this month, President Uhuru Kenyatta made a crucial recognition.

He emphasised that ongoing agricultural reforms, in service of the agenda, were ‘farmer-centric’ and sought to “reduce the cost of food, increase agricultural value-addition and offer incentives for farming”.

Indubitably, Kenya’s smallholder farmers are the key in delivering food security, at any measure. And governments, donor organisations and development institutions are all in agreement of this fact.

How Kenya land system has killed agriculture

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While you can easily get an acre of good farmland for between Sh200,000 and Sh400,000 in many parts of the US, you need between Sh1 million and Sh10 million to get the same size in the high-potential areas of Kenya.


And while the farmer in the US will get subsidies and other incentives, her counterpart in Kenya will instead have to battle, often single-handedly, some of the harshest farming conditions anywhere and, as if that is not bad enough, be saddled with all manner of taxes.

And to break even, she has to sell her produce at prohibitive prices that are no match for cheaper imports from Uganda, Tanzania and even China.

These, and other absurdities, are the reasons Kenya’s agriculture will keep stagnating and the country continue to be fed by its neighbours, experts warn.

“Despite the fact that Kenya and other African economies rely on agriculture, their farmland is not defined and protected,” notes Mr Henry Kinyua, the East Africa head of Digital Green, an organisation that empowers smallholder farmers by harnessing technology and partnerships.

Top National SecondarySchools in Kenya 2019

Before we delve in the glory and prestige of national secondary schools in Kenya, let us find a background history of the Kenyan education system. The education system in Kenya has gone through tremendous changes. From 7-4-2-3 which was adopted immediately after independence, then the 8-4-4 that followed years later, and now the current system, 2-6-6-3, a lot of content has been changed to improve the quality of education. The ministry is committed to ensuring that the fundamental right of attainment of primary and secondary levels is achieved. The 7-4-2-3 system was abandoned because it lacked the flexibility to deal with the changing educational needs and aspirations of the nation. It was also too academic and could not meet the needs of the job market that needed new skills, innovation, and work attitude. It also encouraged individualistic approach to success hence led to the rise of few elitists who could not socialize with others in the work environment— a direct contrast to Africa’s socialist lifestyle.

The 8-4-4 system ironed out most of these issues when it was implemented in 1985, and for a long time it served the nation, churning out trained personal for the labour market. The 8-4-4 was recently replaced by the current system, 2-6-6-3. However, the ministry of education in Kenya still has a lot to work for to ensure that this dream of offering quality education is achieved. There are still fewer teachers who are constantly on strike because of salary rows, and other schools do not have adequate resources to keep the playing ground levelled. The gap between the need for quality education and the resources in public schools led to the rise of private schools. With disparity of income among parents, most of the students have to work extra-hard to find their way in the best secondary schools in Kenya. Due to scarcity of resources to ensure the quality of education is better in public schools, the ministry of education Kenya normally offer an affirmative action to ensure that students who studied in public primary schools and managed to score highly are first considered for the available spaces in the national secondary schools in Kenya.

Kenya secondary schools and their aspirations Secondary schools in Kenya play a very critical rule in preparing the students for labour market. It in secondary schools the students can now begin to make sound career choices. Here are some of the objectives and aspirations of the secondary schools in Kenya. Talent development Social cohesion Career development Foster innovation Shaping of moral values There is so much more that students learn upon joining secondary school. It is also here that the students begin their individual journeys to self-discovery which later help them to choose careers that are in sync with their personalities. Parents know that national schools offer so much that other schools cannot. IN national schools the focus isn’t not only on academic excellence but also on talent nurturing. In Kenya there are 103 national schools, but even as few as they are, parents always want to take their children to best performing national schools.

Alliance Girls high school was founded in 1948 and has ever since been on the top of the List of secondary schools in Kenya that do best in KCSE. The school is located in Kikuyu town which is in Kiambu County. With the motto “Walk in the light”, the Alliance girls’ high school have remained seasoned torch bearers in the national examinations. Alliance Girls high school was the best national school in 2017 KCSE, but came third after Light Academy and Sing’ore Girls that clinched second position and first position respectively.

The Kenya High School Top National secondary schools in Kenya 2018 Source: in-tune a cappella The Kenya High School was founded in 1908 to serve the interests of the European girls. When established it was known as the Kenya European Girls’ High School. It is located in Kileleshwa in Nairobi, but was later renamed after independence. The school has been featured so many times in top performers list and continues to be a pace setter in the national examinations. In last years’ KCSE, it came fourth after Alliance Girls.

Loreto High School Limuru Top National secondary schools in Kenya 2018 Source: Softkenya Loreto high school is a girls’ high school that is located in Limuru, Kiambu County. Approximately, the school is 28ilometres from the capital city, Nairobi. Their mission reads: “provision of quality education through holistic growth of the girl-child in order to nurture women of integrity and intellect who will be agents of positive change.” And true to their quest, they have been giving students more than just wit to pass exams.

Moi Girls high school-Eldoret Top National secondary schools in Kenya 2018 Source: Trinity Baptist Church This school was began in 1928 as a primary school for the Europeans catering for the British and the Boers who lived in the White Highlands. After independence the school became a top National girl’s school that has been among the best performing secondary schools in Kenya. Since its inception as a national secondary school for girls, it has lived to fulfil its vision which reads; “To be the premier national school for girls” The school is also one among the many schools that were named after the second Kenya’s president, Daniel Arap Moi. This school is one of the top schools that have offered holistic education in Kenya.

Kapsabet Boys is a national school that has never fallen short of its status. The school that was founded in 1925 has been shining in the top 10 best schools in KCSE for many decades. Kapsabet Boys is located in Nandi County and is just 40 Kilometres away from Eldoret town. In 2013, it was ranked number 4 while in 2017 it slipped to no. 8 in the top 100 best performing schools in the KCSE.

Alliance High School Top National secondary schools in Kenya 2018 Source: ZUMI Kenya For so many years Alliance High School had dominated the number one position among the Top National Secondary Schools in Kenya. This position however easily slips, and last year they found themselves at number 9 in the top 100 secondary schools. The school was founded in 1926, and was the first school to offer secondary education to Africans. The school has lived up to its prestigious milieu, both in structural developments and academic excellence. It remains a dream school to most students in primary school.

Pangani Girls Alumni Association Pangani Girls is the school that produced the top student nationwide in 2017. The school attributes its stellar performance to internal examinations, prayers and teamwork. The school is located in Nairobi County along Juja Road. Today, Pangani Girls is one of the most sought girl schools in Nairobi. Though there is a little historical information about the school, it is known for its holistic approach to education with priority to discipline and integrity.

Friends School Kamusinga Top National secondary schools in Kenya 2018 Source: thesteifmastertake Friends Kamusinga is one of the few national schools in the western Kenya region. Founded in 1956, the school has outlived the purpose for which it was founded— a transfer unit for Friends School kaimosi! The school has well-equipped laboratories and boasts of over 75 teachers who are committed to bring the best out of their students. Their motto is funny, yet hard-hitting. It reads; “Use Common Sense”. This school appeared in top 15 in last years’ secondary school exams.

Kagumo High Top National secondary schools in Kenya 2018 Source: The Star, Kenya Kagumo is a Boys high schools that was founded that is located in Karatina along Nairobi-Nyeri Road. The school has an enabling environment for students to explore their talents and abilities in sports, music, and academia. With teachers who are committed to nurturing their students and a proven teaching delivery practices, their students can only be among the best in the nation.

Nairobi School Top National secondary schools in Kenya 2018 Source: Nairobi School Nairobi school was founded by white settlers who lived in Nairobi in 1902. The school is known for an all-inclusive learning environment. Being located in the capital city, this school hosts students from all over the country and offers the best opportunity for the students to learn from different culture in a safe space. The school serves about 1600 students and is well-equipped to handle the huge population. Nairobi School appeared in the top 20 in last years’ secondary school exams.

St. Joseph’s Boys High School This school is located at Kitale town in Trans-Nzoia County. The school has posted good performances in the recent past and their consistency just shows they can’t be stripped of the top performers’ page.The school has facilities like swimming pool, well-stocked library, and a well-equipped science laboratory. In 2017 KCSE school ranking, St. Joseph’s Boys High School became number 23.

Kipsigis Girls High School Top National secondary schools in Kenya 2018 Source: Kipsigis Girls High School The schools commitment to empowering the girl child has spurred them to greatness. They say they owe their excellent performance to determination, team spirit and shared vision. The school was founded in 1955, but the 8-4-4 system was introduced much later in 1986. Their vison states; “To provide a conducive environment for a lifelong quality Education and training for a morally upright and all round girl child”. Their performance in 2017 exams can only attest to committed to the cause they are.

Business ideas you can invest in with Sh3,000

More often than not, I see people stating that they have a certain amount of money and would love to know what business they can invest in. Away from the popular view that starting a business will require hundreds of thousands, sometimes it is just as easy and low investment as it can get. Here are some idea for you if you are thinking of starting a business;

1. Start selling online

In the wake of social media era, you have no excuse if you have the product that you want to sell out there. The world of business is slowly moving from the brick and mortar traditional methods of selling and buying. There are very straightforward and easy to use social media platforms that have ready customers looking for your product. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are ideal for you to start with.

It is free to open these accounts, and it will be a great advantage for you if you already have following on these handles. All you need to do is package your product well in terms of getting good photographs to post and the mode of delivering when you finally get people ordering. A tip for this approach is however that you should be big on customer service and quality of what you are selling, do not defraud people of their money by selling fake, counterfeit or overly generic products, be genuine, and you will keep a client base.

2. Become a vendor on these major online franchises

These include platforms such as Jumia and killimall. Contrary to what you may think, these platforms do not have industries where they manufacture products to sell to their customers online they need vendors that can supply the product to them. That said, you could make plans to supply the much needed products and earn you a profit after every sale.

All you need to do is visit their website and sign up to be a vendor, after sign up usually there are a series of tests to verify your ability to supply goods and your grasp of how the system works. Once that is done you will have your very own online shop under the platform, and it will be moments before you begin receiving orders.

A great tip for this one is that you need to be vigilant and look out for places you can get better deals as you purchase the products to supply. You do not have to begin with much cash, usually as low as Kes 5,ooo you can buy simple products like cups and cutlery, and supply at a profit from the platform For more information on this, visit the websites for the said platforms.

3. Event and party planning

It’s a great idea to begin this kind of a business and more importantly because it can be very low cost and does not necessarily require prior training. If you are an outgoing person who loves to plan and create well thought out party themes and idea, why not make that a business.

There lots of people who would want to have a good time in a party or events but are not able because of their busy schedules. For starters, you need to get an operating license from the local county offices for operation and begin seeking your first client.

You might be lucky to land one and begin operations from the down payment that they give you for the job. One Kenyan entrepreneur named John Karugu, who runs a Nairobi based Events Company called Kidsmile-Kenya says that his initial capital was a down payment from a first client that is how he began operations, this shows that it can be done. For this business again, be very honest and open to your clients, you do not want to defraud them by purporting to an expert if you cannot meet their requirements.

4. The hand’s craft

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While some people complain, others get things done. The famous poet, Dante Alighieri once said, that the secret to getting things done is to act on them, and he was right. There are so many ways to learn handcraft if you are interested in making handmade items for sale. Usually, the cost of this investment is the time you spend learning the act and the amount of fee you might be required to pay if you are attending training.

In this day and age, however, there are so many DIY( Do it Yourself) content that you can access online and learn you can pick on crafts such as making mats, decorating bottles for flower vases, making packaging materials, making sandals and many more. Once you are able to get the raw material for these products, you can sell the final product online or to your contacts and earn enough to buy you the next raw materials. Most of these DIY materials can be access from places like Kamukunji and kariokor in Nairobi. You can also order them online if you so wish. The options are limitless.

5. Affiliate marketing

Again affiliate marketing is a low investment form of business that you can leverage on and make money online. Affiliate marketing refers to creating online links usually for a high traffic blog or website to sell items. All you need to do is start a blog or create a website and the popularise it. Once there is enough traffic of people on it, you can collaborate with brands to sell items online for the people that visit your blog. You can monitor the kind of traffic using Google and other SEO analytics tools available on the internet.

Again be very careful to verify the brands that you agree to collaborate with for your affiliate selling, do not defraud people by selling fake items. On the other hand, make it clear on the mode of payment and the frequency that your commission will be paid out to avoid losses. You should be able to agree with your brand collaborators on how to track the sales that have been made through your created links.

Lessons from the US on fighting food insecurity

The US Agency for International Development (USAid) Administrator Mark Green recently concluded a one-week visit to USAid-funded programmes at several African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya and Mozambique. His goal was to promote sustainable paths to self-reliance, including in the context of food security programmes.

Finding sustainable pathways to self-reliance, especially for many African countries whose citizens continue to be affected by hunger and food insecurity, is indeed important. Presently, over 257 million Africans are hungry. In addition, according to a recent report titled For Lack of Will – Child Hunger in Africa, over 50 percent of all child deaths in Africa are caused by hunger.

Importantly, achieving food security will set the stage and pave way for African citizens to meet their food needs, create surpluses for export and tap on the opportunities that come with urbanisation and transition from developing to emerging economies.

There are many strategies and pathways that African countries must implement to attain food security, and this includes learning from countries that have made remarkable progress in this area, including the US.

Of course, no country is perfect and hunger and food insecurity is still an issue that affects close to 40 million people in the U.S., (around 12 percent of the population). Still, the US has made remarkable progress and great strides in achieving food security for all its citizens.

As a result, there are lessons African governments can learn from them as they work to attain food security and improve childhood nutrition.

The frameworks that have propelled the US to become food secure encompass a multitude of several interlinked targeted strategies and initiatives, including prioritising the agricultural sector, investing in innovative agricultural initiatives that are resilient and responsive to new challenges such as climate change, and building safety nets that can be tapped upon by citizens who need the help.

Take California, for example, also referred to as the agricultural powerhouse of the US. Despite facing drought, one of the extremities that comes with a changing climate, recent Agricultural Statistics Review shows that investing in innovative agricultural initiatives has allowed the state to maintain sustainable agricultural crop production, and, consequently become food secure.

The State of Illinois ranks nationally and internationally in maize and soybean output, and has maintained these rankings despite the many challenges farmers face including a changing climate.

By using all the available and recent agricultural technologies and tools such as improved seed varieties, farmers have been able to maintain crop yields, translating into food security. Furthermore, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) continuously supports all states and provides detailed reports and resources that farmers can consult.

Importantly, the frameworks that have allowed the US to be food secure have a common backbone — the land-grant university system. Through it, many Land-Grant Universities in the US such as University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Cornell University, Purdue University, consistently carry agricultural research coupled with a functioning extension service arm that delivers discoveries and recent science-based information to farmers and rural communities.

For example, Purdue and University of Kentucky recently collaborated with USDA in an effort to provide research, extension and other assistance to rural communities. Cornell University has Small Farms programme dedicated to supporting farmers.

Other Land-Grant universities with similar programmes include Penn State University, Virginia State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Complimenting these efforts have been investments by both the state and federal governments agencies such as the USDA and advancements in new technologies and equipment, irrigation systems, soil health building systems, access to water and electricity, improved production systems and production practices, infrastructure like roads, and sound policies as well as risk management.

The USDA, for example, recently announced that it would support all US farmers impacted by recent trade disruption. This is in addition to several other programmes for farmers that are impacted by other extremities that come with a changing climate.

At the same time, the US also invested in improving its phytosanitary standards.

A recent technical brief showed that many African countries phytosanitary standards are not up to date, further limiting African countries from benefiting from exporting and importing food.

Countries in Africa that are the most food secure such as Tunisia, Mauritius, Morocco, Algeria, Ghana, Senegal and South Africa and those which are making progress toward being more food secure such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria and Kenya have achieved their progress by using some of the same strategies as the US.

i is a Post Doctoral Researcher, Entomology Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Illinois, World Policy Institute Senior Fellow, Aspen Institute New Voices Food Security Fellow, Clinton Global University Initiative Agriculture Commitments Mentor and Ambassador.

Amref Health Africa in Kenya Boards visits Turkana County

Amref Health Africa in Kenya’s Board of Directors led by Board Chair Ms Eunice Mathu paid a courtesy call to the Turkana County Executive Committee Member of Health and Sanitation Hon. Jane Ajele on Thursday, 27 June 2019.

During the visit, the County Government signed two agreements with Amref Health Africa in Kenya that will serve to strengthen further collaboration and partnership through the USAID- funded Afya Timiza activity. The first was the signing of a Letter of Agreement for Afya Timiza supported Contract Health Workers presided over by the Deputy County Secretary Robert Loyelei. The second was a Letter of Commitment on the project’s Technical Assistance Package witnessed by Amref Health Africa in Kenya Board of Directors led by Eunice Mathu. Ms Mathu welcomed the agreements noting that it was the right step towards strengthening partnership between the County Government and Amref on areas such as amendment of the Health Bill and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). CEC for Health Jane Ajele thanked Afya Timiza for the support received so far towards the realisation of UHC.

The delegation proceeded to the Lorugum Sub County Hospital Community Health Unit which doubles up as a key referral site for rural health facilities covering an estimated 1,527 households. The team had the opportunity to see work in various service areas supported through the Afya Timiza activity including maternal and new-born health, family planning, child health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health systems strengthening and quality improvement.

During the visit, community members expressed their gratitude for the big role Amref continues to play in not only easing access to health services via community health workers (CHWs), but also by equipping them with knowledge on practices such as kitchen gardening, as well as engaging in projects that empower them economically hence becoming self-sufficient.

“We are a blessed lot to have gained knowledge and skills in educating our communities on reproductive health, WASH & nutrition from Afya Timiza. This has improved our health indicators especially among children and mothers,” said Dorcas Ekusi, a community health worker serving Lorugum Community Health Unit.

On his part, Amref Health Africa in Kenya Country Director Dr Meshack Ndirangu commended the County Government of Turkana for the huge milestones made towards the realisation of better health care for its people as it positively impacts their socio-economic welfare. He noted that this is proof of how impactful devolution can be with proper leadership and management. On behalf of Amref, Dr Ndirangu made a commitment to continue partnering with the County towards achieving their set health plans.

Afya Timiza Deputy Chief of Party Dr Dickson Mwakangalu noted that by the end of the five-year implementation period, they hope to provide support to 70 facilities in areas such as community health systems strengthening and capacity building of health staff.

With the support of USAID, Afya Timiza currently supports 46 health facilities in three sub counties of Turkana County, serving a population of 484, 211 – 2009 estimates.

Winners of Inaugural Quality Healthcare Kenyan Awards Named At Gala Dinner in Nairobi

The winners of the first ever Quality Healthcare Kenyan Awards (QHKA) were honoured at a gala dinner held last night at Radisson Blu Hotel.

The first of its kind in Kenya, the award recipients were recognised for their outstanding performance, contributions and achievement in improving the quality of healthcare in Kenya.

QHKA aims at recognising and lauding organisations and individuals for their outstanding contributions to the Kenyan health sector and will act as an impetus towards improving the standards of health service delivery.

A brainchild of Zawadi Brand Solutions Limited (ZBS Ltd) and in partnership with Amref Health Africa, the initiative takes a health systems strengthening approach to improve standards of health service delivery among health professionals by recognising outstanding performance, fostering innovation and the use of information technology and sharing of best practice. The initiative also unites the public and private sectors towards a common goal and creates a platform for collaboration.

Speaking at the gala event, Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mrs Sicily Kariuki said,“ These awards come at a critical time when we are planning the scale up of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programmes across the country with the aim of providing quality healthcare services that will enable us transit to a more productive and equitable economy.”

The CS further stated that the programme will address three key issues in UHC which include affordability, accessibility and quality.

Guests also heard from Makueni County Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana, who’s county did exemplary well at the event having garnered three awards.

“This is an important event for our country and continent. In Makueni County, we engaged the youth whose creativity and innovation were outstanding to help us accelerate the achievement of UHC through innovations. Today, we have a system that helps ordinary people in our county. Together with other actors, we are also planning a UHC programme at county level with a common objective of delivering quality healthcare to our people.”

Amref Health Africa in Kenya Country Director Dr Meshack Ndirangu acknowledged the impact of QHKA in recognising quality services in the health care sector for quality patient-centred care saying,

“The reason we are here tonight is to begin celebrating and acknowledging individuals and organisations in the health sector that have made great strides on this journey of quality. The UHC momentum gives us a golden opportunity to make quality of healthcare the DNA of our health system, by replicating and scaling up key lessons on quality, so that no Kenyan will join the 5 million people dying annually due to poor quality care.”

He further notes that the collaboration with QHKA seeks to support the government’s Big Four Agenda on UHC and urged the government and other stakeholders to work together and create a national movement that prioritises the needs of consumers of health services.

Director of Africa Health Business, Dr Amit N Thakker called on everyone to applaud the work other health professionals are doing and may not have the opportunity to be recognised. “There are still more heroes and heroines who are not in this group but are currently providing quality services to patients. Those who did not make an application but continue to save lives of thousands of people in our communities.”

“Past surveys have shown important gaps in the quality of care in Kenya, specifically in basic health facility infrastructure, medical equipment, availability of drugs and other medical supplies, diagnostic accuracy of service providers and adherence to clinical guidelines,’’ said Grace Ndegwa, Director and Co-founder of the Quality Healthcare Kenyan Awards.

“We set out on this journey to change the narrative and showcase impact of these positive contributions on the Kenyan health sector for scalability and sustainability, which is a first step in the right direction towards improving the standards of health service delivery,’’ she said.

Winners of the Quality Healthcare Kenyan Awards 2019

  1. Award of Excellence in Improving Access to Primary Care Services – Tunza Social Franchise
  2. Award of Excellence in Advancing Maternal and Child Health – Jacaranda Health
  3. Health Facility Innovation Project of the Year – Maritini CDF Health Centre
  4. Student Innovation Project of the Year – Juma Theophillus
  5. Lifetime Achievement Award – Prof Khama Rogo
  6. Use of Information Technology to Improve Patient Care – Advanced IT Solutions, Damu-Sasa
  7. Award of Media Excellence in Promoting Health and Well-Being – Population Service Kenya, Trust Condoms
  8. Best Use of Social Media in Healthcare – Population Service Kenya, Kukachora
  9. Health Leadership Award – Dr Kevin WW Rombosia
  10. County with the Best Managed Healthcare – Makueni County

People’s Choice Category

  1. Private Hospital of Choice – MP Shah Hospital
  2. Public Hospital of Choice – Makueni County Referral Hospital
  3. Faith Based/Mission Hospital of Choice – Tenwek Mission Hospital

Conflict Management in Kenya

Kenya has experienced both internal conflict, cross border conflict and experienced the effects of conflict occurring in neighboring states. As a result, a number of interventions exist to address conflict at community, national, regional and international levels. These measures range from district peace committees, traditional peace processes and participation in regional peace and security initiatives. More recently, the National Steering Committee on Peace Building and Conflict Management has not only developed a draft framework for a policy on conflict management but also formulated a draft national policy on peace building and conflict management.

Executive summary

Although Kenya is considered to be peaceful unlike her neighbours, a closer scrutiny reveals an unprecedented wave of internal and cross-border conflicts. These conflicts – mainly manifesting as political, economic, environmental conflicts, conflicts over natural resources, land and tribal clashes and lately terrorism – are sending signals that all is not rosy as the outside world has been erroneously been made to believe. Pastoralists in northern Kenya have borne much of the brunt of internal conflicts and considerable efforts have been directed at addressing their specific conflict environment by a number of stakeholders that include GOK, CSOs, religious organizations and CBOs. The resource-based conflicts prevalent in ASALs have completely distorted development programmes and eroded civil administration of this vast and rugged countryside.

The dawn of multi-party politics in Kenya brought in its wake new dimensions of conflict. Communities were divided along political and ideological lines, which gave rise to protracted and institutionalized waves of tribal and land clashes. Recent developments associated with terrorist groups like the August 7, 1998 bomb blast in Nairobi and Dar-Es-Salaam and the September 11, 2002 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of World Trade Centre in New York have behooved mankind to think more beyond inter and intra state conflicts and civil strife. Terrorism not only in Kenya but also in the whole world has brought in a new fundamental dimension in the realm of conflict management and community safety.

Against this background, the political climate in Kenya has not been responsive as far as policy formulation and legislation are concerned. Today, there is no national policy on conflict resolution and peace building in Kenya. Apart from the draft terrorism bill, disaster management (floods and drought) and famine relief issues, there are no existing functional frameworks for conflict management. What exists is fragmented and uncoordinated policy statements embedded in various thematic policy issues like the ASAL draft policy, EMCA, PRSP, NEPAD, and Police Act among other documents. Nevertheless, the National Steering Committee on conflict management and peace buildig initiatives have come up with a draft national policy on peace building and conflict management.

In addition to the fact that there exists no formal policy framework for intervening in inter-community conflicts, this report established that in the past, policies have been implemented with no regard for community local knowledge, their indigenous systems of governance and natural resource management. More often than not, policy makers are operating under conditions of market failure caused by factors such as droughts, flooding and civil strife. An understanding of how demand and supply forces interact during such times is critical to the formulation of policies for conflict resolution that provide for processes and programs that enhance and facilitate economic growth, expanded trade, strategic food stocks, commercial imports and poverty alleviation. There is need to look beyond the immediate triggers of conflicts by formulating policies and economic blue prints that seek to improve household incomes, access to education and social services especially in marginalized pastoralist and rural Kenya.

The search for appropriate or correct models and policies for socioeconomic development is gaining momentum all over the world as conventional knowledge fails to meet the challenge of satisfying the needs of people living under different political and social systems and levels of organization. Independent organizations such as policy research institutions and advocacy groups will increasingly play a leading role in shaping the final product of policy formulation and its relevance in the grassroots context. These institutions may not be directly involved in grassroots mobilization, but their association with resource persons within different ministries working on thematic issues of national importance, builds a working relationship between community groups, and in turn impacts the course of national development. The importance of appropriate and effective developmental policies, strategies and programmes cannot be gainsaid. These institutions ensure and encourage appropriate action at the national, regional and interregional levels.

Conflict management and peace building in Kenya continues to face major challenges in the current national and regional environment. Instability in neighboring states has resulted in increased cross border conflicts, proliferation of small arms and humanitarian crisis resulting in the loss of life and property. Institutional challenges such as the capacity of security forces and other government agencies to prevent, mitigate and manage conflict remain despite the growing recognition by the government of the need to proactively address conflict as a development issue in collaboration with other partners such as civil society, private sector and development partners. There remain operational challenges manifested in the continuing need to improve effectiveness and impact of ongoing peace building programs particularly the traditional justice systems. The government needs to realign its priorities and resources to ensure that adequate resources are generated for conflict management and peace building. The structural problems that fuel conflicts must be addressed through the realignment of priorities that recognizes the importance of peace and security in national development.

This report aims to increase understanding on current policy development initiatives and strengthen institutional capacity to participate in strategy formulation and policy implementation. The goal is to prioritize the problems and policy interventions needed to address them. It proposes a policy advocacy strategy that seeks to motivate all actors to participate in ongoing policy formulation process and policy implementation thereafter. It is hoped that the paper will generate debate and form the basis for the development of a concrete strategy that will support the development of a final national policy on peace building and conflict management that is politically viable, sustainable and will see the light of day rather than the back of a dusty shelf.

Chapter 1 provides an overview of current existing policies, institutions and other measures that impact on conflict management in Kenya. It also highlights the principles that act as the ‘lens’ through which the policy analysis is conducted to identify the policy interventions and lessons learnt that should be integrated into a holistic and cohesive peace building and conflict management policy.

Chapter 2 examines current policy formulation initiatives in Kenya, which provides the basis for the identification of key issues that may potentially impact on the successful formulation and implementation of a national policy on peace building and conflict management. It is necessary to identify these issues in order to establish viable options for policy intervention as well as recommend to policy makers a coherent policy approach to conflict and its management.

Chapter 3 sets out the critical issues and key challenges that should be addressed by the policy. The issues that are highlighted are those that the policy must effectively address to promote conflict prevention, mitigation, management and peace building. They can also act as motivating factors to the actors whose interests they reflect and accommodate encouraging them to actively participate in implementing the policy advocacy strategy.

Chapter 4 highlights the key recommendations of the paper that can inform policy formulation and the advocacy strategy making it relevant to the conflict situations in Kenya. Of greater concern is the development of an effective advocacy strategy that will inform the policy formulation and implementation process. These issues if addressed will enhance the potential for the policy to create an environment where peace may prevail.

Kenya and World Bank launch entrepreneurship project

Kenya and the World Bank launched an initiative aimed at providing a platform for Kenyan youths to use their talents in developing innovative solutions to drive manufacturing.

Betty Maina, principal secretary for industrialization at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives said that Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP) will strengthen innovation ecosystem as part of the implementation of the Kenya industrial transformation program.

“The project marks an important milestone towards the ongoing digitizing and transformation initiatives for Kenya’s global competitiveness that is expected to create additional jobs for the youths,” Maina said at the launch in Nairobi.

Maina revealed that the five billion shillings (about 50 million U.S. dollar) project that is co-funded by the World Bank will also create industry platform to link startups, traditional industries and international networks in select private sector firms for the next six years.

She added that the project will also aid small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in improving their managerial and technical capabilities in order to better compete at both local and international markets.

The official said that KIEP will help enhance intra-Africa trade through increased productivity and competitiveness of Kenyan firms.

“The development of the private sector is the key to growth, job creation and youth empowerment in the developing countries,” Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank country director for Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda said.

Jaramillo said that SMEs are a pillar for the development of national economies and requires necessary support.

He urged the government to adopt a digital economy as a blueprint for supporting ecosystem to elevate the project to the next level.

“With proper application of innovation, productivity and digital solutions, Kenya can be the leader in Africa in trade-related matters,” Jaramillo noted.

KIEP is based on the Kenya Vision 2030 that seeks to transform Kenya into a newly industrialized, high middle-income nation. The project will benefit 33,050 individuals and 2,393 firms, including students, SMEs, and local startups.

Ministry of Industry launches project to support innovation by SMEs

World Bank and the State Department of Industrialisation have launched a $50 million fund that is focused on increasing innovation and productivity in select private sector firms.

Dubbed Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship, the project is set to be implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives.

Speaking during the launch of the project, World Bank Country Director, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda Fellipe Jaramillo said Kenya has been given a period of 30 years to repay the loan used to support the project.

“The concessional credit line from the global lender will pe repaid over the next 30 years with a 2 per cent interest rate,” he said.

The global lender said it is majorly focused on supporting the Small and Medium Enterprises archive their goals since the majority struggle to get capital.

Principal Secretary, State Department of Investment and Industry Betty Maina said the credit is not for an individual SME but is focused on supporting enablers and hubs.

“We have great ambitions and it will help us benefit we want to encourage the startup and hubs to help shape the status of the activity, she said.

“I urge all beneficiaries to participate in the project to strengthen Kenya’s development space,” she added.

Program Coordinator, State Department and Industrialization Stephen Odua said the project is aligned to the government’s big four agenda.

“This project greatly supports the government’s major goals especially manufacturing and since 2017, the project piloted several innovative approaches,” he said.

Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project will run for six years where it is divided into two levels, the ecosystem level where it has accelerators, boot camps and the firm level such as SME upgrading and linkages.

The ministry has now said it will focus on training innovators on how they can enhance productivity once they receive funding.

The small medium enterprises have had challenges in expanding their business due to lack of enough capital.

Last month, the government said it will set up a Sh2 billion fund which will be used to guarantee small businesses when they seek loans in banks but lack collateral.

The government will play a role similar to a Sacco where members’ contributions can be used to guarantee each other, allowing for loans up to three times the deposits.