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UN, World Bank chiefs lead team to Kenya

Saturday October 25 2014

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, UN chief Ban Ki-moon (centre) and President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE |

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, UN chief Ban Ki-moon (centre) and President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE |  

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In New York

Kenya will this week host a high-powered delegation that will include heads of the United Nations, World Bank, European Union and the African Union.

The two-day visit will take place between Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.

A 12-member UN delegation will be led by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon while the World Bank will send a dozen representatives led by its President, Dr Jim Yong Kim.


Others are European Commission Development and Corporation-EuropeAid Director-General Fernado Frutuoso de Melo and AU Commission Deputy Chairman Erastus Mwencha.

Mr Demba Ba, the director of agriculture and rural development from the Islamic Bank, will also be in the delegation alongside the executive secretary of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development Mahboub Mallim.

Ms Mohammed said the vist is intended to launch the Horn of Africa Initiative.

“The initiative is all about how these institutions will give resources to the region for development like road construction, etc,” Ms Mohammed told the Sunday Nation.

Economists at Igad estimate that the cost of addressing Africa’s infrastructure needs is around Sh8.3 trillion ($93 billion) annually.

The projects will be in Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda.

Believing that cross-border co-operation on development can alleviate political tensions, on October 20, 2006, the European Commission adopted an integrated regional response strategy for the Horn region titled EU political partnership for peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa. 

The initiative’s objective is to engage the seven Horn countries in a process of dialogue and co-operation that would ultimately facilitate peace and security in the region.


On Wednesday, UN and World Bank chiefs will fly to Mogadishu, Somalia, for a day-long visit before returning to Kenya.

They will jointly visit Dadaab camp, which hosts more than 400,000 refugees from Somalia. Mr Ban and Mr Jim Kim will thereafter fly to Nairobi to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House on Wednesday evening.

Mr Ban will also launch a global media campaign against female genital mutilation. A global drive to end the female genital cut was initiated in February by the London-based Guardian newspaper.

“The main Kenyan media houses” will be taking part in the launch in Nairobi of an African campaign against the practice, a UN spokesperson said.

A resolution adopted in 2012 by the UN General Assembly denounces the cut as an “irreparable, irreversible abuse that impacts negatively on the human rights of women and girls.”

An estimated 125 million females have been cut in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, the UN Population Fund reports.

Female cutting is illegal in Kenya but still occurs widely particularly among the Somali, Kisii and Maasai.