Uhuru Kenyatta says Sh716b to boost regional peace initiatives

Written By Michael Maunda on Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 3:07 AM

President Uhuru Kenyatta has welcomed the Sh716 billion ($8.3 billion) support for peace and
development in the Horn of Africa region pledged by the United Nations, the World Bank, the Africa Development Bank and other development partners.
He said the financial resources will boost initiatives the region has already embarked on to ensure peace.
“Kenya and the Horn of Africa are glad to see this coordinated action by the United Nations, the World Bank, the African Union, the African Development Bank, IGAD and the other institutions represented here,” President Kenyatta said.
The President made the remarks at State House, Nairobi, after a high-level meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and AU Commission deputy chairperson Erastus Mwencha.

President Uhuru Kenyatta receives UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at State House in Nairobi on October 29, 2014. PHOTO | PSCU
The meeting was also attended by Islamic Development Bank President Ahmad Ali Al-Madani, Igad Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim, senior representatives from the African Development Bank and other critical actors in peace-building and development.
President Kenyatta said the visit by the leaders of the UN, the World Bank and other institutions to understand the peace and development conditions on the ground is strong proof of their renewed cooperation with the Horn of Africa countries.
“Here I ought to give special mention to His Excellency the Secretary-General: he is now a regular visitor to Kenya, reflecting his personal commitment to this region,” the President said.
He assured the leaders that Kenya would continue to devote its resources and expertise to building a stable region that is integrating economically to achieve inclusive prosperity for all people.
“We are guided by the fundamental understanding that together we can achieve the positive transformation of our region,” he said.
The President pointed out that Kenya has been at the heart of regional peace initiatives and would use the knowledge it has gained over the years to sustain that commitment.
He said the gathering of goodwill, ideas, expertise and resources reflects an ambition to transform the approach to peace and development in the Horn of Africa.
“Our work as governments to restore peace where conflict has broken out in the region, and to further the economic integration that will lead to inclusive prosperity, has long required and attracted like-minded partners,” President Kenyatta said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta leads Kenyan officials in talks with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and other top leaders at State House in Nairobi on October 29, 2014. PHOTO | PSCU
Speaking during the occasion, the UN secretary-general thanked the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the African Union, the Islamic Development Bank and the European Union for their strong commitment and cooperation in helping the Horn of Africa countries enjoy peace, stability and economic development.
“We came here with a common message: that there cannot be any lasting peace and security without development. And there can be no development without peace and security,” Mr Ban said.
He commended Kenya for the invaluable support it gives in offering refuge to people from troubled countries in the region.
On the fight against Ebola, Mr said the UN and the World Bank had agreed to support the African Union’s efforts in placing medical personnel at the disposal of Ebola-affected nations.
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
Mr Ban applauded Kenya’s efforts to end female genital mutilation, saying he was glad for the support to curbing the retrogressive cultural practice given by significant sections of the Kenyan media.
On his part, the World Bank president hailed President Kenyatta for leading regional peace and security efforts to create opportunities for the communities in the Horn of Africa.
“I am extremely encouraged by President Kenyatta’s leadership in Kenya. And the World Bank has engaged constructively in Kenya’s development challenges and opportunities,” Mr Kim said.
He said Kenya is also providing leadership across the region in terms of economic growth. He said the World Bank is committed to helping Kenya find new opportunities for growth, poverty reduction and equity.
President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta later hosted a State banquet at State House, Nairobi, in honour of the visiting dignitaries.